A$AP Rocky has pleaded not guilty to assault charges in Sweden following his imprisonment in the country.
The 30-year-old claimed he acted in self defence on the first day of a trial that has drawn international attention after the likes of Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber all called for his release.
The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained in connection with a street fight in Stockholm on June 30 and later charged with assault causing actual bodily harm. He has been in custody since July 3 and has been forced to cancel a string of high-profile European festival appearances.
Mayers claims that he and two companions were provoked by 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari, who also faces cross-examination during the trial.
But Swedish prosecutors claim that the rapper and the two other suspects “deliberately, together and in agreement” attacked the teenager.
They instead claim that Mayers and the two other suspects beat and kicked Mr Jafari while he was on the ground and that he was hit with a bottle.
Speaking to Swedish broadcaster SVT, Mayers’ lawyer Martin Persson said he would provide new evidence to show that “no bottle has been used to hit or injure anyone” and that the attack was “within the limits of the law”.
In the wake of the arrest, posters calling for Rocky’s release have been spotted across Stockholm.
Despite Trump calling for Rocky’s release, the Swedish government has previously reiterated it won’t interfere with its judicial process from acting independently of government powers.
A spokesman for the Swedish government said: “Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven have been very clear in the dialogue with both the White House and directly with the American president. In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law and the government cannot interfere in legal proceedings.”