A$AP Rocky Returns to U.S. with a Bright Smile After Release from Swedish Jail as Verdict Looms
A$AP Rocky returned to the U.S. Saturday morning following his release from Swedish custody Friday.
The 30-year-old looked elated as he exited the private jet he had taken overnight from the Stockholm Arlanda Airport upon leaving the Stockholm District Court Friday evening after the final day of his high-profile trial for an assault case against him, according to multiple reports.
On Friday, A$AP Rocky — who pleaded not guilty — appeared in court to hear testimony from witnesses, including his bodyguard, before closing arguments were held. Upon the announcement that the rapper would be released pending the judge’s ruling later this month, the courtroom erupted and his mother shouted, “There is a God,” USA Today reported.
The ruling is expected to be announced Aug. 14, the Swedish court said on Friday.
Two other members of Rocky’s entourage, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers — who also pleaded not guilty to assault charges — were also released.
“We had two goals — one goal was that my client was going to be a free man today,” Rocky’s lawyer Slobodan Jovicic told CNN, adding that he was “satisfied” and “are hoping for an acquittal in 14 days, but we have to wait and see.”
A$AP Rocky returned to Instagram shortly after the decision was announced. “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,“ he wrote. “This has been a very difficult and humbling experience. I want to thank the court for allowing me, Bladi and Thoto to return to our family and friends. Thanks again for all of the love and support.”
The music star, born Rakim Mayers, had been in custody since July 2, after he was arrested in Stockholm following a street altercation involving a 19-year-old man named Mustafa Jafari.
Although assault cases causing bodily harm can result in a sentence of up to two years of imprisonment, the prosecution called for a much shorter sentence on Friday, asking for the court to consider a six-month jail sentence, according to USA Today reporter Kim Hjelmgaard.
Rocky told the court he thought community service would be appropriate, the Associated Press reported.
Speaking to PEOPLE from his office in Stockholm on July 25, Stockholm public prosecutor Daniel Suneson said, “Assault causing actual bodily harm can give up to two years of imprisonment. In this case, it’s not going to be on that level, however.”
On Thursday, A$AP Rocky alleged that while trying to download an app to use an electric scooter, his bodyguard was approached by the alleged victim, CNN previously reported.
“Things got a little weird. We thought that the behavior of these guys was strange, it got a bit scary,” he told the court, adding that he suspected at the time that Jafari and his friend were on drugs, the outlet reported.
In his testimony, the rapper alleged that although he and his entourage attempted to walk away from the incident, they were followed by Jafari and his friend.
“At this point, we are really scared. I saw my security guard being cut, bleeding. We didn’t know what to expect with these strangers — I’m not from Sweden, so it was really scary,” he said, according to CNN. “I wanted to go straight to the hotel for safety. I didn’t want this to happen.”
While in court, A$AP Rocky stressed that he hopes his name will be cleared of all charges.
“What I want is justice. I want my name to be cleared. Justice for all of us,” he said, according to Hjelmgaard.
During the first day of the trial, Stockholm public prosecutor Daniel Suneson showed the courtroom footage of the incident, which occurred on June 30.
He alleged that the rapper threw Jafari on the ground before he and the two members of his crew beat him while he was down, NBC News and CBS News reported.
Jafari went on to allege that he was also hit on the back with a bottle; however, the defense said there is no evidence to prove that happened, according to NBC News.
A$AP Rocky has spent nearly a month in prison since his arrest last month. His case has gained national attention with President Donald Trump previously announcing his plans to call the prime minister of Sweden to help release him from jail.
Trump has also sent Presidential Hostage Affairs Envoy Robert C. O’Brien to Sweden to attend the rapper’s trial.
According to NBC News, who obtained letters via Swedish partner Aftonbladet, O’Brien wrote to Swedish prosecutors urging them to release Rocky, warning “negative consequences” to the nations’ relationship otherwise.
“The government of the United States of America wants to resolve this case as soon as possible to avoid potentially negative consequences to the U.S.-Swedish bilateral relationship,” O’Brien had allegedly written in the letter.
Upon the rapper’s release on Friday, Trump tweeted, “A$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!”