US rapper A$AP Rocky was set to appear in a Swedish court Thursday to give his account of a street brawl, in an assault case that has stirred diplomatic tensions and outraged fans.
The 30-year-old faces up to two years in prison over the incident, which took place in Stockholm on June 30.
Dozens of fans, along with reporters, lined up in the early morning outside the tribunal in the Swedish capital for a chance to hear the rapper testify. Some pleaded “please, please” for the limited tickets handed out by court security officers.
The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested on July 3 along with three other people following the fight. His bodyguard was later released.
Prosecutors last week charged Mayers and two others with assault, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail.
At the trial’s opening on Tuesday, the rapper, who has spent weeks in custody, said he acted in self-defense and pleaded not guilty.
As the proceedings resumed on Thursday, the defence cross-examined the plaintiff. The 19-year-old has alleged that he was attacked by the rapper and his entourage when he followed them to ask about a pair of headphones that had broken in an earlier scuffle with the artist’s bodyguard.
Much of the trial has centred around video evidence and whether a bottle had been used as a weapon during the alleged assault.
One video published by US celebrity news outlet TMZ shows the rapper throwing a young man to the ground and apparently aiming several punches at him while he is down.