The rapper ASAP Rocky was charged on Thursday with suspicion of committing an assault causing actual bodily harm on June 30 in central Stockholm, Swedish prosecutors said in a statement.
The prosecution will proceed “despite claims of self-defense and provocation,” said public prosecutor Daniel Suneson in an email.
The rapper, who was identified in a statement as “an American artist,” will remain in custody until a trial begins, he added. The trial must take place within two weeks, under Swedish law. Two members of Rocky’s entourage also face a trial.
The development will increase the focus on a case that started as a street brawl, but has ballooned into a diplomatic incident, with Sweden facing accusations of racism and human rights abuses for its treatment of the rapper.
Rocky, 30, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, is accused of assaulting a man in Stockholm on June 30 after an altercation in the street that was captured on video. The rapper and two other men were detained on July 5 as prosecutors investigating the matter.
Rocky said he was acting in self-defense, saying that the man he appeared to throw to the ground in a video had followed and harassed him despite being repeatedly asked to stop.
“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,” Mr. Suneson said in the statement. “In addition to video material, the injured party’s statements have been supported by witness statements.”
The case escalated all the way to the White House, and on Saturday, President Trump called Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden to discuss the case.
Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he told the prime minister he would “personally vouch” for Rocky’s bail if he were released although Sweden has no system of bail, and normally keeps foreigners accused of crimes in detention because of the flight risk.
Mr. Lofven’s office said in a statement on Saturday that the 20-minute phone call had been cordial but that the prime minister insisted he would not intervene and “underlined that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law.”
Slobodan Jovicic, Rocky’s lawyer, did not respond immediately to an email and telephone call for comment.