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A$AP Rocky to get assault verdict, but he won't be in Sweden to hear it

Posted at 7:49 AM, Aug 14, 2019

US rapper A$AP Rocky will find out if he has been found guilty of assault over a street brawl in Stockholm when a Swedish court delivers its judgment on Wednesday.

The performer and two members of his entourage were taken into custody on July 3, following a confrontation in the Swedish capital on June 30.

Swedish public prosecutor Daniel Suneson told the court the artist and the two other men -- David Rispers and Bladimir Corniel -- assaulted the victim by kicking and beating him with a whole or part of a glass bottle while he lay on the ground.

A$AP Rocky, who pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, argued that the trio were simply defending themselves.

Known for his song "Praise the Lord," the 30-year-old rapper -- whose real name is Rakim Mayers -- was released by Swedish authorities at the conclusion of the trial on August 2 and left the country shortly afterwards.

He is not required to appear in court for Wednesday's ruling.

The incident angered fans and fellow artists, and strained diplomatic relations with the United States after President Donald Trump repeatedly demanded the rapper's release, even raising the issue with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

In response, Löfven's spokesperson Mikael Lindström said in a statement to CNN at the time that "the Government is not allowed, and will not attempt, to influence the legal proceedings, which are now ongoing."

Swedish officials repeatedly stressed that the country's judiciary is "completely independent" and "does not take into consideration outside pressure from politicians or others."

The rapper addressed the case during a performance at a music festival in California on Sunday, according to Reuters .

"Hopefully we won't have to go back to jail or nothing like that, that would be crazy," he told the audience at the Real Street Festival -- his first public appearance since his release. "It was an unfortunate event and I'm just trying to stay blessed."