A$AP Rocky Verdict Delayed, Rapper Released From Custody – Rolling Stone
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A$AP Rocky Case: Judge Delays Verdict, Releases Suspects from Custody

Ruling comes after prosecutors, attorneys for defendants shared closing arguments on final day of trial

Asap Rocky in the front rowRaf Simons show, Front Row, Fall Winter 2018, New York Fashion Week Men's, USA - 07 Feb 2018

A Swedish judge said he will deliver a verdict on A$AP Rocky later this month, but said the rapper does not have to remain in custody.

Swan Gallet/WWD/Shutterstock

Following three days of testimony, a Swedish judge said he would issue a verdict on the assault charges leveled against A$AP Rocky on August 14th. A$AP Rocky’s attorney also told  freelance journalist Maddy Savage, who has been covering the trial, that the three defendants did not need to remain in Sweden while they await the verdict.

Prosecutors and attorneys for A$AP Rocky and the two other defendants, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers, delivered their closing statements today, bringing the trial to a close. After deliberating for an hour, the presiding judge announced that the verdict would be handed down at a later date. The judge also notably ruled that A$AP Rocky, Corniel and Rispers do not need to remain in custody until the 14th.

Despite the judge’s delayed verdict, President Donald Trump celebrated A$AP Rocky’s release from custody on Twitter:

Rocky was arrested July 2nd, one day after TMZ posted a video of the incident, which took place, June 30th. In the video, the Harlem can be seen throwing a man across the street in Stockholm as a fight breaks out. Rocky and his lawyers have repeatedly claim the rapper was acting in self-defense, and in two separate videos on Rocky’s Instagram, two men can be seen following A$AP and his associates through the streets, despite being repeatedly told to stop and turn around. The videos also show one of the men hitting Rocky’s security guard with what appear to be a pair of headphones.

After Swedish authorities arrested A$AP Rocky and two other men, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers,  for suspected “gross assault,” they remained in custody for three-and-a-half weeks as Swedish prosecutors decided whether or not to press charges. During this time, Rocky’s manager claimed the rapper was being subjected to solitary confinement and inhumane conditions, though Swedish officials denied these allegations. Still, the rapper’s imprisonment became a rallying cry for his peers and collaborators including, Tyler, the Creator, Meek Mill, Diddy, Justin Bieber and more.

A$AP Rocky’s case ultimately garnered the attention of President Donald Trump, after Kim Kardashian and Kanye West reached out to the White House on the rapper’s behalf. Trump reportedly reached out to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to vouch for Rocky and said he would personally pay the rapper’s bail (Sweden does not use a bail system). When A$AP Rocky was finally charged, Trump tweeted, “Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!”

In turn, a spokesman for the Swedish government said the government would not get involved in A$AP Rocky’s case in order to keep politics out of its judicial system. “[I]n Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot interfere in legal proceedings,” the statement read.

On Tuesday, A$AP Rocky’s trial opened with the rapper entering a not guilty plea. That same day, the alleged victim, 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari, testified that he approached A$AP Rocky and his crew after being separated from his friend, and he wanted to see if the group had seen him. Jafari alleged that Rocky’s bodyguard pushed him, lifted him up by his throat and broke his headphones. He also claimed that during the fight, A$AP Rocky or a member of his group hit him with a bottle.

In turn, A$AP Rocky claimed that he had repeatedly tried to “defuse the situation” after Jafari and his friend began following him. The rapper said that when the fight eventually broke out, he only entered the fray after Jafari and his friend had attacked his bodyguard. Rocky also acknowledged that he and his crew had picked up bottles in an attempt to stave off the fight, but denied breaking or hitting anyone with a bottle.

 

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