UPDATE: A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty to assault charges in Sweden on Tuesday, Associated Press reports. The rapper and two others are accused of allegedly throwing a man across a street during an altercation in Stockholm last month.
Swedish news agency TT reports per AP that President Trump sent a U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, Ambassador Robert O’Brien, to attend and monitor the trial and show support for the rapper.
A spokesman for the Swedish government countered President Donald Trump’s criticism of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s handling of the case of A$AP Rocky, saying the the country does not want politics to interfere with a judicial hearing.
After being detained for nearly three weeks, A$AP Rocky was charged with assault Thursday for allegedly throwing a man across a street during an altercation in Stockholm late last month. During his lengthy detainment, the rapper’s story became a rallying cry for fans and his peers in the music industry, while Trump even got involved after Kim Kardashian and Kanye West reached out to the White House on Rocky’s behalf.
While Rocky waited to hear if he’d be charged, Trump wrote on Twitter that he’d reached out to Löfven to vouch for Rocky and said he would personally pay the rapper’s bail (Sweden does not use a bail system). After the charges were officially handled down, Trump tweeted, “Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!”
He continued, “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem!”
In response, the Swedish government spokesman said that the government would not get involved in A$AP Rocky’s case in order to keep politics out of its judicial system, Reuters reports. “Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have been very clear in the dialogue with both the White House and directly with the American president, that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot interfere in legal proceedings,” the spokesman said.
A$AP Rocky and his two associates, who were also charged, will remain in custody in Stockholm until his hearing starts July 30th. The hearing is expected to last three days. The rapper has repeatedly denied the charges, claiming he acted in self-defense.