Entertainment

Rapper A$AP Rocky convicted in Stockholm brawl but spared jail

U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky has been convicted in Sweden of assault over a Stockholm street brawl, but spared time in jail after a high-profile trial that had led U.S. President Donald Trump to accuse Sweden of treating him unfairly.

2 members of the entertainer's entourage also convicted

American recording artist A$AP Rocky, shown at a 2017 event in Paris, was convicted on Wednesday in Stockholm, but the incident was deemed not serious enough to warrant incarceration. (Thibault Camus/The Associated Press)

U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky was convicted in Sweden on Wednesday of assault over a Stockholm street brawl, but spared time in jail after a high-profile trial that had led U.S. President Donald Trump to accuse Sweden of treating him unfairly.

A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained on July 3 in connection with a June 30 street brawl and charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.

On Wednesday, he and two members of his entourage, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers, were found guilty of kicking and beating 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari after an argument. But the Swedish court said allegations they hit him with a glass bottle, which might have brought a tougher sentence, were not proven.

"In an overall assessment, the court finds that the assault has not been of such a serious nature that a prison sentence must be chosen," Senior Judge Per Lennerbrant told a courtroom packed with reporters.

"The defendants are therefore sentenced to conditional sentences."

The court also ruled the self-defence claims of the three defendants were not applicable to the circumstances of the incident.

Ordered to pay damages, legal costs

The court ruled the artist and the convicted members of his entourage must pay damages to the plaintiff of 12,500 Swedish crowns ($1,728 Cdn) along with some of the costs for his legal representation.

The court said the fact that the defendants had no prior convictions over the past five years and had already spent time in custody awaiting trial meant they would not serve further time in prison or pay any fine.

The rapper, who shot to fame with his 2011 debut Live.Love.A$AP, was not in court for the verdict. He had returned to the U.S. after being released on Aug. 2 following 31 days in jail and a three-day trial. 

Slobodan Jovicic, Mayers' Swedish lawyer, told reporters Wednesday he was disappointed in the conviction but said the court had ruled in favour of his client regarding some aspects of the case.

"We didn't succeed all the way but on the other hand we got many points proven," he said, adding that he had contacted his client about the verdict via text message and would speak to him later on Wednesday.

The Swedish lawyer for A$AP Rocky, Slobodan Jovicic comments Wednesday on the verdict handed down to his client during a news conference in Uppsala, a city on the outskirts of Stockholm. Jovicic said he had hoped for a full acquittal for his client. (Fredrik Sandberg/TT via AP)

Case drew Trump's attention

The case drew global attention, particularly after Trump offered to vouch for the rapper's bail and asked Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to help free him. Sweden does not have a bail system and Lofven pointed to Sweden's independent judiciary saying he could not intervene.

Trump tweeted messages saying he was disappointed in Lofven and demanding: "Treat Americans fairly!"

Other celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and Rod Stewart, had also spoken out in support of the rapper.

Mayers was in Stockholm for a concert at the time of the fight and had to cancel several shows across Europe due to his detention. Back in the U.S., he has returned to performing, including at a festival in Anaheim, Calif. 

He is due in Finland on Aug. 16 to play the Blockfest festival in Tampere and other upcoming shows include a performance at Western University in late September.

With files from The Associated Press

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