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A$AP Rocky Pleads Not Guilty at Assault Trial in Sweden

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - APRIL 13: A$AP Rocky performs at the MARQUEE Singapore grand opening celebration on April 13, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Getty Images for MARQUEE Singapore)

A$AP Rocky‘s trial began in Sweden today, with the currently incarcerated rapper pleading not guilty to an assault charge stemming from an alleged confrontation he and two associates had with a man in the streets of Stockholm late last month. Cameras were kept out of the courtroom. CBS News reports that Swedish prosecutors argued that Rocky and his two companions, who are both also facing charges, “deliberately, together and in agreement” assaulted the alleged victim, Mustafa Jafari.

The prosecution also claims that a broken bottle was used in the attack, which Rocky’s team denies. Rocky’s team is sticking to the position the rapper has maintained since footage of the confrontation was posted online (most notably by Rocky himself): that he was acting in self-defense. The rapper’s lawyer, Martin Persson, claimed in court that the violence used by the rapper and his team was “within the limits of the law.”

Prosecutor Daniel Suneson told the AP after Rocky’s charging earlier this month that he would not pursue the maximum sentence of two years if the rapper is convicted. Law experts told CBS News that they expect the rapper to either be released on probation or spend three to five months in prison.

Rocky’s case has become a subject of international political interest, prompting Donald Trump to talk to Swedish PM Stefan Löfven on Rocky’s behalf and, perhaps most importantly to him, tweet about doing so. Among other things, Trump offered to personal “vouch for” the rapper’s bail. Trump reportedly became interested in the case after being lobbied by Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West. After his conversation with Trump, Löfven explained in a statement that “in Sweden, everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.”

Rocky’s trial may continue into Thursday and Friday.