One of the prosecution’s key witnesses in the assault trial of American Grammy-nominated rapper A$AP Rocky has revised her testimony, and is now claiming that she didn’t see the rapper hit his alleged victim, an Afghan migrant who was caught on video harassing the rapper and his entourage, with a glass bottle, the AP reports.
The revelation, coming on the third day of Rocky’s trial, could help the rapper avoid an assault conviction. A guilty verdict could see the rapper sent to prison for up to two years, although prosecutors have said they would push for a lighter sentence.
Rocky has been sitting in prison for a month now since he turned himself in to police in Stockholm after he and his entourage were caught on video beating 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari. Jafari is widely believed to have instigated the fight, as video footage taken before the brawl broke out showed him following the rapper and taunting him and his entourage, even after Rocky asked repeatedly asked them to leave him alone.
The case has become one of the most high-profile criminal cases in Sweden in recent memory, as American celebrities including Justin Bieber and rap impresario Sean Combs have called for Rocky’s release. The rapper’s family members have accused the Swedish court system of racism for deciding to charge the rapper.
The women, whose identities haven’t been revealed by the court, were reportedly eating nearby, and witnessed the brawl when they spotted Rocky, and rushed outside to try and get an autograph, the AP reports.
The woman on Friday told the court she had been eating with her friend at a fast-food restaurant in central Stockholm on the evening of June 30 when they saw Mayers’ entourage and Jafari encountering each other outside the venue. The two women rushed outside to have a photo taken with the American rapper but the situation had already escalated into a brawl.
The woman testified that she heard a bottle being crushed but could not say whether Mayers’ entourage threw the bottle to the ground or hit Jafari with it. She said she didn’t see Mayers holding a bottle during the scuffle.
Her friend testified that she didn’t see anyone hitting Jafari with a bottle.
However, both women testified that they saw Mayers and his partners beating and kicking Jafari.
“Everything happened very quickly. We were scared for our lives,” the first woman told the court. “He (Jafari) was bleeding. He showed his injuries on his hand. He also said he had a sore back.”
Even President Trump has gotten involved. In a series of tweets, Trump said he offered to personally guarantee the rapper’s bail. But prosecutors have refused to release Rocky, claiming that he would be a “flight risk”, given his ample resources.
Trump later lashed out at Swedish PM Stefan Lofven after the PM refused to interfere with the country’s Justice Department. Rocky and two members of his entourage are on trial in the case, but Swedish prosecutors decided not to charge Jafari over his role in the confrontation.
Rocky testified during his trial this week, where he made an emotional plea for his freedom and admitted that he and his crew jumped the man, but only after he had attacked Rocky’s bodyguard. Rocky has pleaded not guilty.
If Rocky is found not guilty, the Swedish government could be forced to compensate him for the millions of dollars he’s lost from being forced to cancel tour dates – though Rocky has said he’s not interested in the money.