US Threatens Sweden With “Negative Consequences” Unless A$AP Rocky Is Released
Rapper A$AP Rocky is back in the US after a month of wallowing in a Swedish jail – much to the delight of President Trump, who had pressured the Swedish government to release the rapper, and even offered to personally guarantee the rapper’s bail.
Though the verdict in Rocky’s trial won’t be released for a couple of weeks, the rapper has been allowed to return to the US. During his trial earlier in the week, one of the key witnesses changed her testimony.
Now, as allegations of racism dog the Swedish justice system, and dozens of American celebrities demand that the charges against Rocky and his two compatriots be dropped, CNN has released A diplomatic letter warning of “negative consequences” in US-Swedish relations, if the American rapper’s hearing on assault charges was not resolved quickly.
The letter included what appeared to be a veiled threat against the Swedish government, to either release Rocky, or risk damaging the bilateral relationship.
CNN has obtained the full text of a letter written by the US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert C. O’Brien and leaked earlier on Twitter. Addressed to the Swedish Prosecution Authority on July 31 – before the rapper’s trial had concluded – the letter said the US was eager “to resolve this case as soon as possible to avoid potentially negative consequences to the US-Swedish bilateral relationship.”
Read the full text of the letter below:
Embassy of the United States of America Stockholm, Sweden July 31, 2019
Prosecution Authority of the Kingdom of Sweden:
On behalf of the US. Government, I present my compliments to the Prosecution Authority of the Kingdom of Sweden and with respect to the upcoming legal proceedings in the case of detained American citizens Rakim Mayers, David Rispers, and Bladimir Corniel, the US Government requests the following: Immediate humanitarian release from the current Kronoberg Remand Prison Supervised detention in a local Stockholm hotel pending disposition of the case I take this opportunity to remind the Prosecution Authority of the commitment by President Trump to Prime Minister Stefan Lovfen that the three Americans will remain in Sweden if granted a humanitarian release.
As Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, I stressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice officials on July 29, 2019, the government of the United States of America wants to resolve this case as soon as possible to avoid potentially negative consequences to the U.S.~Swedish bilateral relationship.
I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to the Prosecution Authority of the Kingdom of Sweden the assurances of my highest consideration.
Very truly yours, Ambassador Robert O’Brien Special Presidential Envoy The Prosecution Authority of Sweden, Stockholm.
Sweden’s Prosecutor-General, Petra Lundh, responded in a letter on Aug. 1, 2019, defending the independence of the Swedish legal system. “No other prosecutor, not even I, may interfere with a specific case or try to affect the prosecutor responsible,” Lundh said.
“Furthermore, when a person is charged and the case is brought before a court, only the court can decide, during or after the trial, whether or not to release the person or decide on supervised detention.”
Shortly after returning to the US, Rocky published an Instagram post thanking his fans and followers for standing by him during the trial.