A$AP Rocky and two associates were found guilty of assault on Wednesday, after a Swedish court ruled that they were “not in a situation where they were entitled to use violence in self-defense,” according to the Washington Post.
The 30-year-old rapper whose arrest led to a minor diplomatic spat was not sentenced to any prison time because the “assault has not been of such a serious nature that a prison sentence must be chosen,” according to a Stockholm district court press release.
Rocky and two of his associates faced up to two years in jail for allegedly assaulting a man in Stockholm at the end of June, but their temporary release on Aug. 2 was seen as a possible indication of a not-guilty verdict or a sentence shorter than the time already served during more than four weeks of pretrial detention. –Washington Post
Rocky, who was released on bail two weeks ago and returned to the United States on August 2, was arrested along with associates Bladimir Emilio Corniel and David Tyrone Rispers in early July, stemming from a June 30 street fight with a 19-year-old man, Mustafa Jafari.
On the last day of Rocky’s trial, a key witness changed her testimony to say that she never saw Rocky hit the alleged victim with a bottle – which resulted in the presiding judge, Senior Judge Per Lennerbrant, saying in a written statement that “the prosecutor has not been able to prove that the victim was struck in the back of the head with a bottle or that he was in any other way assaulted with bottles. This has affected the assessment of the seriousness of the crime.“
A$AP Rocky released from prison and on his way home to the United States from Sweden. It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2019
Last month President Trump urged Sweden’s prime minister to release Rocky, which Swedish leaders criticized as an attempt to interfere with their country’s independent legal system. Trump had called on the Swedish government to focus on its “real crime problem” instead of Rocky – implying that they should do something about crime committed by migrants.
Sweden’s justice system is ranked among the world’s most respected, but the rapper’s arrest and weeks-long detention without charges sparked an outcry in the United States. Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West and Justin Bieber called for his release, as did several Democratic members of Congress. –Washington Post
Earlier this month, CNN released a diplomatic letter warning of “negative consequences” in US-Swedish relations, if the American rapper’s hearing on assault charges was not resolved quickly. The letter included what appeared to be a veiled threat against the Swedish government, to either release Rocky, or risk damaging the bilateral relationship.
CNN has obtained the full text of a letter written by the US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert C. O’Brien and leaked earlier on Twitter. Addressed to the Swedish Prosecution Authority on July 31 – before the rapper’s trial had concluded – the letter said the US was eager “to resolve this case as soon as possible to avoid potentially negative consequences to the US-Swedish bilateral relationship.”
US ‘hostage affairs envoy,’ Robert C. Obrien was also dispatched to Stockholm to attend the trial, which Swedes widely mocked.