A Swedish government spokesman told Reuters they were not able to intervene in the case despite Trump's efforts

By Adam Carlson
July 26, 2019 12:55 PM
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President Donald Trump this week voiced his all-caps dismay at being unable to persuade Swedish authorities to drop the assault against rapper A$AP Rocky.

Using the hashtag #FreeRocky, Trump tweeted on Thursday that he was “very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act.”

“Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!” the president wrote, adding in another tweet: “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem!”

The 30-year-old rapper, né Rakim Athelaston Mayers, has been in Swedish custody for much of the month following his involvement in a street altercation in Stockholm.

According to Reuters, he said he and his group were provoked and are innocent.

Rocky was in Stockholm to perform at the Smash hip hop festival.

A Swedish government spokesman told Reuters they were not able to intervene in the case despite Trump’s efforts:

“Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have been very clear in the dialogue with both the White House and directly with the American president, that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot interfere in legal proceedings,” the spokesman said in a text message.

A$AP Rocky
| Credit: Diego Donamaria/Getty Images
President Donald Trump

On Thursday, prosecutor Daniel Suneson announced Rocky would stand trial for “assault causing actual bodily harm” with a trial date likely set next week. Prosecutors will rely heavily on eyewitness accounts and video footage, Suneson said.

A source previously told PEOPLE that Rocky had been held in “inhumane” and “horrific” conditions in Sweden, though officials disputed this. (TMZ first reported the news.)

“Rocky is now being detained for an unknown period of time until they have a trial and he is having his legal and basic human rights ignored while being forced to live in inhumane conditions — all for acting in self-defense,” the source contended at the time.

Suneson, the prosecutor, said Rocky is being tried on only one allegation of assault after the other was dropped for lack of evidence.

“A counter allegation was also made against one of the injured parties by the artist’s bodyguard,” Suneson said. But that case was closed without charges following an investigation.

A$AP Rocky
| Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

“I have studied the videos made available to the inquiry,” Suneson said. “It is worth noting that I have had access to a greater amount of material than that which has previously been available on the internet. In addition to video material, the injured party’s statements have been supported by witness statements.”

President Trump was made aware of the case in recent days, in part thanks to Kim Kardashian West and her husband, Kanye West. Kardashian West has become a White House ally in the push on criminal justice reform — a rare spot of bipartisanship for the divisive Trump administration. She appealed to the president about Rocky’s arrest, a source told PEOPLE.

Trump later told reporters First Lady Melania Trump also brought Rocky’s case to his attention, and he tweeted last week that he would speak with Sweden’s prime minister about it.

“So many people would like to see this quickly resolved,” Trump tweeted then.