Stockholm, 30 July 2019 (dpa/MIA) – A lawyer for US rapper ASAP Rocky told a Swedish court on Tuesday that his client acted in self defence during a violent altercation in Stockholm that resulted in battery charges against him.
“He admits to throwing the plaintiff on the ground, stepping on his arm and hitting or pushing his shoulder,” said Slobodan Jovicic, one of the defendant’s lawyers, according to a live blog from broadcaster SVT. He was speaking during the first day of the trial.
The prosecutor showed five different videos of the June 30 incident that he said demonstrated that the 19-year-old victim was brutally beaten by the rapper and his two co-defendants.
He added that the video footage released by ASAP Rocky himself had been doctored.
A central issue in the case is whether a bottle was used to injure the defendant.
A medical examination showed that the victim sustained cuts during the incident, but the rapper’s lawyers argued that glass shards may have been embedded in their client’s shoe when he stepped on the victim.
ASAP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested after the June 30 incident in central Stockholm.
“We have an ace up our sleeve,” Martin Persson, one of the defendants’ lawyers, told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, adding that the plan was to show that they had acted out of self-defence.
The case became even more high-profile when US President Donald Trump took to Mayers’ defence, unsuccessfully lobbying the Swedish government to allow the rapper to be released on bail, which is not possible in Sweden.
Trump also accused Sweden of letting down the African-American community in the US. Mayers is black.
The trial is set to continue on Thursday with a verdict expected on Friday.