Buju likely to get new trial date tomorrow

FOUR-time Grammy-nominated reggae artiste Buju Banton will likely learn tomorrow when he will again have to scrap for his freedom in a United States court, some four months after his first trial ended with a hung jury.

Attorney Oscar David Markus said his client was prepared to do battle

“We stand prepared to battle a second time,” said Markus. “We are extremely thankful that all of our supporters are still with us.”

Banton’s first trial on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offence, ended without a verdict last September following three days of deliberation by a panel of jurors in federal court in Tampa, Florida.

Banton was granted $250,000 bail the following month but was released in November because of a legal challenge from the prosecution. Banton is currently under house arrest but was cleared by the court to perform at a concert in Florida on January 16.

The retrial was scheduled to start last December but was postponed on a request from Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie. Banton said he wanted to spend time with his family before he embarked upon a second trial.

The singer/deejay was arrested along with two other men in December 2009 following a sting operation by United States drug enforcement agents.

Banton’s legal team is contending that he was entrapped by the United States Government.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Buju-likely-to-get-new-trial-date-tomorrow_8268512#ixzz1AH6Vcfrw

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