Swedish ambassador to the US insists it’s ‘perfectly safe’ for people of colour to visit the country//Clémence MichallonNew York
“We hope to get him home soon,” the president told a pool reporter on Friday, saying that First Lady Melania Trump had brought the situation to his attention.
Prosecutors requested more time for their investigation of the 30-year-old US rapper, producer and model, whose real name is Rakim Mayers. A district court granted the request.
Daniel Suneson, the prosecutor in charge of the case, said the court decided to keep A$AP Rocky in custody because of an alleged flight risk.
“This gives us time to complete the investigation,” Suneson added.
The artist’s lawyer, Slobodan Jovicic, said the decision was expected but unfair, and that A$AP Rocky was innocent.
“He believes he was assaulted and has acted in self-defence,” Jovicic told journalists.
The detention of A$AP Rocky has gained widespread attention. More than 600,000 people have signed an online petition for his release, while fellow artists have also expressed their support.
Kim Kardashian called senior White House advisor and Mr Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner about the issue, after which Mr Kushner flagged the situation with Mr Trump, The New York Times reported citing a person familiar with the communications.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch met him on Friday and was due to hold talks on the issue with the foreign ministry and the justice department during a two-day visit to Sweden.
Karin Olofsdotter, the Swedish Ambassador to the United States, told TMZ her embassy has been in contact with the US State Department, members of Congress and the White House.
Asked what she would like to tell people who believe that it’s not safe for people of colour to travel to Sweden, the ambassador said in part: “I would say it’s perfectly safe and people are of course more than welcome. The more Americans who want to come to Sweden, the better.”
A$AP Rocky was detained on 3 July along with his bodyguard and two other members of his entourage in connection with a fight in a Stockholm city-centre street in the early hours of 30 June.
Before his arrest, he uploaded videos to his Instagram account of an altercation with two men, alleging they had followed him and his entourage and that he had not wanted any trouble.
The bodyguard was released without charge while a judge on 5 July extended the detention of A$AP Rocky and his two other associates.
The performer was in Stockholm for a concert and has had to cancel several shows in his European tour.