A$AP Rocky Not Required to Be in Sweden for Verdict


But rapper would have to return to Sweden if a judge rules Wednesday he needs to serve time, or become a fugitive.

STOCKHOLM — A$AP Rocky is not required to be present when a Swedish court publishes his verdict on Wednesday in the assault case that led to his nearly five weeks of incarceration, according to a Swedish lawyer.

If he is ruled to be guilty, the artist would face a deadline to return to Sweden and serve any prison term, Måns Ressner, a Swedish civil attorney unassociated with the case, tells Billboard.

Even if he is sentenced to prison, it is unlikely that Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, would have to serve any time. His days spent in a detention cell while the case was being investigated — what is called pretrial detention in Sweden — would be deductible from any potential jail sentence, Ressner said.

However, if the judge rules Rocky must serve time that exceeds his time served, the artist would have to return to Sweden on his own accord or become a fugitive. Prosecutors have repeatedly recommended the 30-year-old Harlem, New York, native spend six months behind bars.

There is an extradition agreement between Sweden and the United States, as well as between Sweden and most other countries in the Western world. That means Rocky's career as an international touring artist could be put in jeopardy.

Rocky’s arrest and jailing in Stockholm attracted international attention, including from celebrities like Kanye West, and from President Donald Trump, who urged Swedish authorities to release the rapper.

The sentencing is expected to provide details regarding the court’s opinion of Rocky’s self-defense plea. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense when 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari and another man would not leave he and his group alone. 

pair of eyewitnesses pleaded with the prosecution during Rocky’s trial at Stockholm District Court two weeks ago that they did not see the rapper using any sort of bottle as a weapon during the altercation with Jafari.

A judge released Rocky on Aug. 2 and he was free to return home to the United States while awaiting the verdict. Two other defendants that were locked up with Rocky were also released from Swedish detention after the judge found them not to be a flight risk.

Rocky made his first post-incarceration concert appearance on Sunday at the Real Street Festival in Anaheim, Calif., calling his jail time in Sweden a “scary, humbling experience.”