Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 October 2019

Sweden drops investigation of man in ASAP Rocky assault case

Rapper has been behind bars since July 3 on suspicion of assault

A$AP Rocky has been behind bars since early this month as police investigate the fight in Stockholm. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP File
A$AP Rocky has been behind bars since early this month as police investigate the fight in Stockholm. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP File

Swedish prosecutors on Monday dropped an investigation into one of the men involved in a street brawl with US rapper ASAP Rocky, saying the man was acting in self-defence.

The fight between two men and ASAP Rocky and his entourage in Stockholm on June 30 led to the July 3 arrest of the rapper, who has been detained since on suspicion of assault.

Parts of the brawl were captured on a video published by US celebrity news outlet TMZ, which showed the rapper tossing a young man to the ground.

But the New York rapper, 30, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, posted his own videos on Instagram showing the lead-up to the clash.

In those videos the young man can be seen arguing with the rapper, who repeatedly asks the man and his friend to stop following them.

The young man can also be seen hitting the rapper's large bodyguard with a pair of headphones.

After Mayers' arrest, the bodyguard filed a counter-complaint against the man claiming to be a victim, accusing him of harassment and assault.

But the Swedish Prosecution Authority announced on Monday that it was dropping the investigation.

It said the man's actions were in self-defence because he was being pushed and that the bodyguard, or "counter-plaintiff", had grabbed his throat.

"In this situation, the person throws his headphones at the counter-plaintiff and tries to punch, which can be considered part of his right to self-defence," prosecutor Daniel Suneson said.

The investigation has been running in parallel with one into Mayers, who is suspected of assault but has not been charged.

On July 5 the Stockholm District Court ordered that he be kept in custody for two weeks while the case was investigated, because the rapper was considered a "flight risk".

Last Friday the prosecutor requested more time to finish the investigation and was granted a extension until Thursday.

Since his arrest, fans, fellow artists and US Congress members have campaigned for the artist to be freed.

US President Donald Trump also weighed in on the case over the weekend by contacting Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.

Mr Trump on Saturday tweeted that Mr Lofven had assured him ASAP Rocky would be "treated fairly".

"Likewise, I assured him that ASAP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative," Mr Trump said.

Mr Lofven's press secretary Toni Eriksson told AFP that "the Prime Minister was careful to point out that the Swedish justice system is completely independent".

Updated: July 23, 2019 01:11 AM

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