American rapper A$AP Rocky plead not guilty to an assault charge on day one of his trial in Sweden on Tuesday. The trial was monitored by a special envoy sent by U.S. President Donald Trump to show Sweden he means business.
Swedish news agency TT reports President Trump sent the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs to Stockholm to monitor the court proceedings and to show Swedish officials that the rapper has the full weight of the U.S. State Department behind him.
The special presidential envoy, Ambassador Robert O'Brien, was spotted entering the Stockholm District Court on Tuesday morning.
The U.S. State Department's website says O'Brien "leads the U.S. government's diplomatic efforts on overseas hostage-related matters."
According to the Associated Press, an official in Washington, D.C. said O'Brien is in Sweden to convey President Trump's concerns about the rapper's case.
Earlier this month Trump tweeted a conversation he had with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, in which he asked the PM to release Rocky from jail.
After Rocky was charged with assault, Trump slammed the PM on Twitter.com, and he hinted that the move might harm diplomatic relations between the two countries.
"Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States," Trump tweeted on July 26. "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!"
Rocky, 30, and two members of his entourage were arrested on July 3, following a June 30 scuffle with 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari and his 20-year-old friend, who is currently jailed on an armed robbery charge.
Rocky faces a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison if convicted on the assault charge.
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