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  1. ITV Report

Trump says A$AP Rocky 'on way home' after rapper is freed from Swedish jail ahead of expected verdict

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Allegra Stratton

Rapper A$AP Rocky and two other US suspects will be freed from jail in Sweden until August 14, when judges are expected to announce a verdict in the assault case against them.

It's understood the trio will be allowed to leave the country - although this has not been made clear through the decision by the Stockholm District Court.

Prosecutors asked that the 30-year-old rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, receive a six-month sentence during closing arguments.

Mayers told the court he thought community service would be a proper punishment for him.

US President Donald Trump, however, was in no doubt the rapper was on his way home, tweeting: "It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!"

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In comments posted on his Instagram account, Rocky said his month-long detainment in Sweden had been "a very difficult and humbling experience".

The 30-year-old artist wrote "Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of my fans, friends and anyone across the globe who supported me during these last few weeks. I can't begin to describe how grateful I am for all of you."

Reports in Sweden suggested he was set to leave the country on Friday night by private plane.

The development comes after a witness in the A$AP Rocky assault case revised her story from initial police reports, saying in a Swedish court that she did not actually see the 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.

Witnesses giving evidence were the highlight of the third day of the trial where Mayers and two other suspects are accused by prosecutors of beating 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari on June 30.

One of A$AP Rocky’s bodyguards arrives at the district court. Credit: Fredrik Persson/TT/AP

The rapper’s bodyguard, identified as Timothy Leon Williams, also gave evidence.

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

Both women who gave evidence maintained their previous statements to police that they saw Mayers and his partners beating and kicking Jafari.

But one of the women recanted what she witnessed with the bottle. She said she heard the bottle being crushed, though she could not say whether Mayers’ entourage threw the bottle to the ground or hit 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 Jafari with a bottle.

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

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

Renee Black, mother of A$AP Rocky arrives at court. Credit: Fredrik Persson/AP

Williams’ evidence closely mirrored what Mayers told the court, adding that the situation was made more complicated due to the language barriers between the rapper’s group and Jafari.

His bodyguard said he asked Jafari to “go away” when he approached the group a second time outside the fast-food restaurant in central Stockholm.

“I knew something’s not right about him. I’m noticing it because I’m a bodyguard,” Williams said in English.

“And now, I’m looking at him like, ‘Yo, what’s wrong with you?’ I’m looking at him and saw that his eyes were really glossy, like he’s on something.”

Williams then went on to explain the details of the brawl, explaining how he grabbed Jafari by the shoulders and took him away from Mayers and the rest of his crew.

Mayers had also given evidence earlier this week that he suspected Jafari and his friend were under the influence of some drug, which officials have not yet commented on.

The rapper pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial, saying he acted in self-defence when Jafari and another man would not leave them alone. He had been behind bars since he was arrested on July 3.

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 A$AP Rocky’s bail, but the Swedish leader said he could not 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 that was pressing for the rapper’s release.