President discussed rapper’s arrest with Swedish prime minister, who stressed importance of keeping judicial system independent
President Donald Trump said in a Saturday tweet that he spoke with Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven about recently arrested rapper A$AP Rocky and “offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative. But Sweden doesn’t use bail in its court system.
A$AP Rocky was arrested on July 3 on suspicion of aggravated assault after a street fight that broke out July 14 between two local men and members of his entourage. Police are reviewing video footage that reportedly shows the rapper throwing someone to the ground prior to a music festival performance in Stockholm. Defense attorneys say that the rapper, real name Rakim Mayers, did so in self-defense.
After urging from First Lady Melania Trump and celebrities, Trump said from the Oval Office on Friday that Rocky’s arrest had been brought to his attention and that he would try to personally intervene on his behalf.
However, it’s unclear how Trump would be able to come to the rapper’s aid. The bail system, which is common in the U.S., does not exist in Sweden. And while Lofven confirmed his “friendly and respectful” talk with Trump through his press secretary, he said that he stressed “the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts” during that talk.
“He underlined that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings,” read a statement from Lofven’s press secretary Toni Eriksson to the Associated Press. She also says that contrary to Trump’s tweet, a follow-up call has not yet been officially planned.
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