A Swedish court convicted U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky of assault and handed down a suspended sentence on Wednesday following a high-profile trial that led U.S. President Donald Trump to question the fairness of Sweden’s legal system.
A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained on July 3 in connection with a street June 30 street brawl and charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.
The court also convicted two members of the singer’s entourage, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers, of the same crime. It was ruled the self-defence claims of the three defendants were not applicable to the circumstances of the incident.
“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,” the court said in a statement.
“The defendants are therefore sentenced to conditional sentences.”
The court said the assault would have carried a two-month sentence, but the fact the defendants had no prior convictions over the past five years and had already spent time in custody awaiting their trial meant they would not serve further time in prison or pay any fine.
Mayers, friends ordered to pay fine
Mayers was released by the court on Aug. 2 and returned to the United States pending the verdict. Soon after, he thanked supporters in an Instagram post for what he described as “a very difficult and humbling experience.”
He was back performing the past weekend, at a festival in Anaheim, Calif.
The court ruled the artist and the convicted members of his entourage must pay damages to the plaintiff of 12,500 Swedish crowns ($1,302 US) along with some of the costs for his legal representation.
The prosecution said that after an argument, Mayers threw Mustafa Jafari, 19, to the ground, after which he and the two others kicked and punched the man.
In his testimony, Jafari said he was also hit on the head with a bottle after he followed Mayers’s group.
Mayers acknowledged in court that he threw Jafari to the ground and punched and kicked him, but said Jafari had attacked his bodyguard. He said he had tried to avoid the fight and denied hitting Jafari with a bottle.
The case had sparked a diplomatic feud of sorts between Trump and Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
Trump had lobbied for the singer’s release, but Löfven declined, saying Sweden’s judiciary was independent.
Slobodan Jovicic, A$AP Rocky’s lawyer in Sweden, said he was disappointed with the outcome as he had hoped for a “complete acquittal.”