NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  ASAP Rocky attends Rihanna
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: ASAP Rocky attends Rihanna's 4th Annual Diamond Ball benefitting The Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on September 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Diamond Ball)
PHOTO: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Now playing
01:48
Trump says he's working with Swedish PM to free rapper
Now playing
02:23
Tropical activity poses threat in Southern Hemisphere
PHOTO: Indonesia Search and Rescue Agency
Now playing
02:09
Woman who is trapped underneath earthquake's rubble captured on video
Barrie
Barrie's aunt speaks about how the police brought her the news about the death of her nephew Ibrahima.
PHOTO: VTM
Now playing
01:26
Aunt of Black man who died after arrest in Belgium: We want justice
screengrab US social media
screengrab US social media
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
04:35
Tech companies ban Trump, but not other problematic leaders
Now playing
01:23
Rejected Tintin cover breaks world record for comic book art
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13:  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) presides over the vote to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump for the second time in little over a year in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol January 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House voted to impeach Trump on the charge of "incitement of insurrection," 232-197 after a mob of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol where Congress was working to certify the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden on January 6. 10 Republicans voted to impeach. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) presides over the vote to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump for the second time in little over a year in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol January 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House voted to impeach Trump on the charge of "incitement of insurrection," 232-197 after a mob of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol where Congress was working to certify the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden on January 6. 10 Republicans voted to impeach. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Now playing
02:35
How the world is reacting to Trump's second impeachment
Indonesia sriwijay air crash search for victims wang pkg intl hnk vpx_00000920.png
Indonesia sriwijay air crash search for victims wang pkg intl hnk vpx_00000920.png
Now playing
02:21
Family members wait in anguish as search for crash victims continues
africa china coronavirus vaccine diplomacy lu stout pkg vpx _00025522.png
africa china coronavirus vaccine diplomacy lu stout pkg vpx _00025522.png
PHOTO: CCTV
Now playing
03:09
How China is hoping to use its vaccine as a diplomatic tool
PHOTO: CIRO FUSCO/AFP/ANSA/AFP via Getty Images
Now playing
00:38
Huge sinkhole appears in Italian hospital parking lot
TOPSHOT - Rescue workers carry recovered debris at the port in Jakarta on January 10, 2021, during the search operation for Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 which crashed after takeoff from Jakarta on January 9. (Photo by Dany Krisnadhi / AFP) (Photo by DANY KRISNADHI/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Rescue workers carry recovered debris at the port in Jakarta on January 10, 2021, during the search operation for Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 which crashed after takeoff from Jakarta on January 9. (Photo by Dany Krisnadhi / AFP) (Photo by DANY KRISNADHI/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Dany Krisnadhi/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:16
Indonesian jetliner crashes after taking off from Jakarta
 HONG KONG PRO DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST VENTUS LAU BEING ESCORTED BY POLICE.
HONG KONG PRO DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST VENTUS LAU BEING ESCORTED BY POLICE.
PHOTO: VENTUS LAU FACEBOOK PAGE/Reuters
Now playing
03:15
See Hong Kong police arrest former pro-democracy lawmakers
Tensions between the United States and Iran are likely to further escalate once again after Tehran seized a South Korean-flagged chemical tanker in the Persian Gulf, according to semi-official Iranian news agencies, and announced it had resumed enriching uranium to 20% purity, far beyond the limits laid out in the 2015 nuclear deal. President Donald Trump walked away from the agreement in 2018. CNN
Tensions between the United States and Iran are likely to further escalate once again after Tehran seized a South Korean-flagged chemical tanker in the Persian Gulf, according to semi-official Iranian news agencies, and announced it had resumed enriching uranium to 20% purity, far beyond the limits laid out in the 2015 nuclear deal. President Donald Trump walked away from the agreement in 2018. CNN's Paula Hancocks reports.
PHOTO: YJC
Now playing
02:37
Footage shows chemical tanker seized by Iranian forces
A European health worker prepares a shot of the coronavirus vaccine.
A European health worker prepares a shot of the coronavirus vaccine.
PHOTO: Reuters
Now playing
02:14
Frustration in Europe over pace of coronavirus vaccine rollout
Jack Ma, the co-chair of the UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, founder of Alibaba Group, attends the Bund Summit in Shanghai. He says that the essence of finance is credit management. We must change the pawnshop idea of Finance and rely on the credit system. Shanghai, China, 24 October 2020.

Jack Ma, the co-chair of the UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, founder of Alibaba Group, attended the Bund Summit in Shanghai. He says that the essence of finance is credit management. We must change the pawnshop idea of Finance and rely on the credit system.No Use China. No Use France.
Jack Ma, the co-chair of the UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, founder of Alibaba Group, attends the Bund Summit in Shanghai. He says that the essence of finance is credit management. We must change the pawnshop idea of Finance and rely on the credit system. Shanghai, China, 24 October 2020. Jack Ma, the co-chair of the UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, founder of Alibaba Group, attended the Bund Summit in Shanghai. He says that the essence of finance is credit management. We must change the pawnshop idea of Finance and rely on the credit system.No Use China. No Use France.
PHOTO: Zhao Yun/Oriental Image/Reuters
Now playing
03:05
Chinese tech tycoon has not been seen in months
(CNN) —  

American rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty to assault charges in a Swedish court on Tuesday, on the first day of a trial that has grabbed the attention of US President Donald Trump and the world’s media.

Known for his song “Praise the Lord,” the 30-year-old performer, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained almost a month ago following a street brawl in the capital Stockholm on June 30. If convicted, A$AP Rocky, who was charged with assault last week, could face up to two years in prison.

On Tuesday morning, Swedish public prosecutor Daniel Suneson read out the charges against the artist and two other men in his entourage. Suneson said they assaulted the victim by kicking and beating him with a whole or part of a glass bottle while he lay on the ground.

The victim told the court he suffered injuries to his arm and head in the fight, as well as broken ribs. “I felt that they would beat me to death,” he said.

A$AP Rocky’s lawyer, Slobodan Jovicic, maintains his client did not commit any crime. The rapper asserts that he was acting in self-defense when he threw the victim to the ground and stepped on his arm.

“Please bear in mind that A$AP Rocky is an international, very well-known artist,” Jovicic said, adding that his client is used to being approached in the street, but that these men were “deeply provoking” and that he acted out of fear.

Both members of A$AP Rocky’s crew, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers, also deny any wrongdoing.

Magnus Stromberg, a lawyer for the victim, said his client is seeking 139,700 Swedish krona in damages (about $14,600).

The Stockholm District Court was packed with international press and A$AP Rocky’s family members, including his mother, Renee Black, who sat still, staring straight ahead as the charges were read out.

President Trump has appealed for A$AP Rocky’s release, and the US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Robert O’Brien, was in court on Tuesday to “support the members of the family and the American citizens.”

O’Brien told CNN he wouldn’t go into details about his conversations with the President about the case, but that Trump “has made it very clear that he wants these individuals to come home as soon as possible.”

Some audience members were audibly sobbing and shaking their heads as Suneson showed evidence, including surveillance footage from the burger restaurant where the fight began.

In photos of the crime scene displayed to the court, a broken glass bottle was visible on the street where the brawl took place and a fragment of what appeared to be the same bottle could be seen stuck in A$AP Rocky’s sweater.

"This is a nightmare!" A$AP Rocky
"This is a nightmare!" A$AP Rocky's mother Renee Black (second from left), told the press at the district court in Stockholm.
PHOTO: FREDRIK PERSSON/AFP/Getty Images

The victim described being “hit” and “stabbed” with broken glass, but Suneson said police did not find any finger prints or DNA on the bottle.

Playing a video clip of the exchange, Jovicic argued that the bottle was broken behind A$AP Rocky’s back as he was “occupied with throwing” the victim to the ground. He claimed that glass shards from the bottle could have been caught underneath his client’s shoe, which may have inadvertently cut the victim.

Jovicic also referred to transcriptions from the footage, when A$AP Rocky could be heard appearing to try to cool tensions: “Listen, listen. We don’t wanna fight you all. We’re not trying to go to jail.”

Footage of the altercation posted by TMZ and clips shared by A$AP Rocky himself, which have been at the heart of the investigation, were also played in court.

The prosecutor suggested that one of the videos shared by A$AP Rocky on Instagram had been edited to omit the moment when his security guard grabbed the victim by the neck and lifted him off the ground.

He also shared text messages exchanged between different members of A$AP Rocky’s team, who spoke about “cleaning up” and “deleting” the videos.

But Jovicic argued the videos painted a different picture – one of “aggressive” and “threatening” behavior by the victim, who he claimed attacked A$AP Rocky’s bodyguard and refused to stop following his crew.

“It is in this context that Mayers fears that there will be another attack on the bodyguard” and decides to throw the victim to the ground, Jovicic said.

Asked by the judge whether A$AP Rocky had stepped on the victim’s arm on purpose, Jovovic replied: “It was intentional.”

Dave Rispers Sr., father of David Rispers, one of the accused, on the first day of the trial.
Dave Rispers Sr., father of David Rispers, one of the accused, on the first day of the trial.
PHOTO: Michael Campanella/Getty Images

As the prosecutor detailed the case against A$AP Rocky, the rapper’s fans were gathered in a nearby room to watch the proceedings unfold on a big screen.

“I’m a big fan of A$AP Rocky,” Marie-Thiella Hakizmana, one of those gathered at court, told CNN. “I think he will be convicted – there is quite a lot of evidence against him. It would be right to convict him, but he shouldn’t get a very long sentence, since he was provoked.”

“I mean, there are laws in Sweden, just because you are a celebrity doesn’t mean you should get away,” she added.

That fact is something that Swedish authorities tried to impress upon Trump after he took an interest in A$AP Rocky’s case, campaigning for the rapper’s release.

The US President previously said on Twitter that he had spoken with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and “offered to personally vouch for (A$AP Rocky’s) bail, or an alternative.”

But Swedish law doesn’t have a bail system and after Swedish authorities refused to release the musician, Trump tweeted: “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. 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!”

In response, Löfven’s spokesperson Mikael Lindström said in a statement to CNN that “all people in Sweden are equal before the law.”

“The Government is not allowed, and will not attempt, to influence the legal proceedings, which are now ongoing,” Lindström said.

Several high-profile celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, musical artists Post Malone and Shawn Mendes, and actress Jada Pinkett Smith have also thrown their support behind the rapper, petitioning for his release using the hashtag “JusticeForRocky.”

The trial, at the Stockholm District Court, is scheduled to continue on Thursday and Friday.

Under Swedish law, A$AP Rocky could face a maximum penalty of two years in prison. However, according to Swedish media, the prosecutors have indicated they do not expect to ask for the maximum penalty.

CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne and Melissa Bell contributed to this report.