A$AP Rocky arrives back in US ahead of assault verdict
Rapper A$AP Rocky has arrived back home in the US after being freed from a Swedish jail while he waits for the verdict in his assault trial.
The artist, 30, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was seen leaving a private jet at Los Angeles International Airport in TV pictures broadcast late on Friday night.
In his first Instagram post since being detained on 3 July, he thanked “from the bottom of my heart” all the people who have supported him.
He had arrived from Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport after judges in the city released him and his two co-accused from jail while they reach a verdict, expected on 14 August.
Mayers, David Rispers Jr and Bladimir Corniel deny beating 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari outside a fast-food restaurant in central Stockholm on 30 June.
The rapper, who prosecutors say should be jailed for six months, entered a plea of not guilty on Tuesday and said he felt community service would be a proper punishment.
A witness changed her story from initial police reports, telling the court on Friday that she did not actually see Mayers hitting Mr Jafari with a bottle.
But she and a friend, testifying anonymously at Stockholm District Court, both insisted they saw the trio assaulting him.
“Everything happened very quickly. We were scared for our lives. He (Jafari) was bleeding. He showed his injuries on his hand. He also said he had a sore back,” the first woman told the court in Swedish.
Mayers said he acted in self-defence as Jafari and another man would not leave them alone.
The singer’s bodyguard, Timothy Leon Williams, backed up the story, telling the court on Friday he suspected Mr Jafari was on drugs because “his eyes were really glossy, like he’s on something.
“I knew something’s not right about him. I’m noticing it because I’m a bodyguard,” Williams said in English.
The case has attracted the attention of prominent figures, from Justin Bieber to Donald Trump.
The US president, who is running for re-election in 2020, caused a stir in US-Swedish diplomatic relations after publicly offering support to the Grammy-nominated musician.
A$AP Rocky released from prison and on his way home to the United States from Sweden. It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2019
Mr Trump celebrated the temporary release in his favourite way, tweeting: “It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!”.