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Witnesses tell Swedish court they did not see ASAP Rocky hit man with bottle

The rapper has said he was acting in self-defence.

ASAP Rocky, rear, and his defence lawyer Slobodan Jovicic in the district court in Stockholm (Anna Harvard/TT/AP)
ASAP Rocky, rear, and his defence lawyer Slobodan Jovicic in the district court in Stockholm (Anna Harvard/TT/AP)

A witness in the ASAP Rocky assault case has revised her story from initial police reports, giving evidence in a Swedish court that she did not actually see the American rapper hitting a man with a bottle.

The young woman and her friend, giving evidence anonymously, were questioned via video link at Stockholm District Court.

The third day of a trial where the rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, and two other suspects are accused by prosecutors of beating 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari, is focusing on witness evidence, including the rapper’s bodyguard, identified as Timothy Leon Williams.

Whether or not Mr Jafari, who got into an argument with Mayers’ entourage in Stockholm on June 30, was hit with parts or a whole bottle has become one of the key issues at the trial.

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One of ASAP Rocky’s bodyguards arrives at the district court (Fredrik Persson/TT/AP)

The rapper, 30, pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial on Tuesday, saying he acted in self-defence when Mr Jafari and another man would not leave them alone.

The woman on Friday told the court she had been eating with her friend at a fast-food restaurant in central Stockholm on the evening of June 30 when they saw Mayers’ entourage and Mr Jafari encountering each other outside the venue.

The two women rushed outside to have a photo taken with the American rapper but the situation had already escalated into a brawl.

The woman gave evidence that she heard a bottle being crushed but could not say whether Mayers’ entourage threw the bottle to the ground or hit Mr Jafari with it.

She said she did not see Mayers holding a bottle during the scuffle.

Her friend said that she did not see anyone hitting Mr Jafari with a bottle.

However, both women gave evidence that they saw Mayers and his partners beating and kicking Mr Jafari.

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Renee Black, mother of ASAP Rocky arrives at court (Fredrik Persson/AP)

“Everything happened very quickly. We were scared for our lives,” the first woman told the court.

“He (Jafari) was bleeding. He showed his injuries on his hand. He also said he had a sore back.”

The trial has created a stir in US-Swedish diplomatic relations after President Donald Trump weighed in to support the Grammy-nominated recording artist.

Mr Trump has spoken with Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven, offering to personally guarantee ASAP Rocky’s bail, but the Swedish leader said he couldn’t interfere in a legal case.

The case has also drawn the attention of celebrities, including Sean “Diddy” Combs and Justin Bieber, and a social media campaign has been pressing for the rapper’s release.

PA

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