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     A$AP Rocky performs I'm Not the Only One with Sam Smith (not pictured) during the 42nd American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 23, 2014

    US's 'Strong Wish' to Sweden: Let ASAP Rocky Stay in Hotel Instead of Prison Cell

    © REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni
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    The recent demand that followed US President Donald Trump's personal involvement and US special envoy for hostage situations arriving in Stockholm to oversee the trial of rapper A$AP Rocky, has been called “absurd” in Swedish legal circles.

    The US Embassy has sent a letter expressing “strong wishes” to the Swedish Prosecutor General that rapper and US citizen A$AP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) and his co-defendants, currently on trial in Stockholm, charged with assault against a local man, Mustafa Jafari, be allowed to stay in a hotel instead of detention.

    “We have received a letter from the US Embassy with strong wishes that there should be an alternative to detention for the three Americans. That they should be allowed to stay in a hotel”, Karin Rosander, communications director at the Prosecutor's Office told the Expressen newspaper.

    “We replied that it doesn't work that way in Sweden. In addition, it is up to the court to decide on the matter because charges have already been pressed”, Rosander added.

    Lawyer Leif Silbersky called the recent US move strange.

    “You do not know whether to laugh or cry. This, that we would have people sitting in hotels when they are actually on the Kronobergshäktet detention, is absolutely absurd. The absurdities from their side never seem to end”, Leif Silbersky said.

    The US does not currently have an ambassador to Sweden, leaving Pamela Tremont, the embassy's chargé d'affaires, responsible.

    “The embassy cannot comment on diplomatic exchanges”, the embassy's press service said, refusing to provide further comments on its negotiations with the Swedish Prosecutor General.

    US President Donald Trump previously engaged in Rocky's plight by offering to personally pay the bail for the jailed rapper, something that is not possible in Sweden. Following a discussion with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Trump voiced his disappointment and responded by sending a special hostage expert to oversee the trial, a measure that raised many eyebrows in Sweden.

    A$AP Rocky and two men from his entourage have been charged with assault following a street brawl with a group of immigrants. Both sides' stories of the event completely contradict each other.

    While Rocky claims that he and his comrades were stalked by “some drug addicts” and eventually provoked to engage in a street fight to defend themselves, the plaintiff, 19-year-old Afghan-born Mustafa Jafari, argued that it was he who was attacked and severely beaten up.

    Jafari, whose own criminal record involves abuse, drug offences and shoplifting, is demanding SEK 139,700 (almost $15,000) in damages, claiming he has gone through a lot of pain and suffered reputational damage.

    Rocky pleaded not guilty and stressed that he wants “justice” and “his name cleared”.


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    Donald Trump, justice, Scandinavia, Sweden, United States
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