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Buju granted permission to present oral arguments for new trial

Published:Tuesday | August 19, 2014 | 12:09 PM
Buju Banton - File


Lawyers representing jailed singer, Buju Banton, say the US Appeals Court has granted their request to present oral arguments regarding his efforts to obtain a new trial.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie,is serving a 10-year sentence on drug-related charges after he was arrested at his South Florida home in December 2009 and charged with conspiracy to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine.

His arrest followed a sting operation at a Drug Enforcement Agency-controlled warehouse in Tampa, which also resulted in the arrest of James Mack and Ian Thomas, who were attempting to purchase cocaine from undercover agents.

After two trials he was sentenced in a Tampa, Florida court.

Banton has maintained his innocence and says he was entrapped by the United States government and the lawyers are arguing that their client was entrapped by a paid informant, and that there is clear evidence of juror misconduct.

Lead attorney, Charles Ogletree, said the court's decision to allow oral arguments is a positive step towards justice and freedom for the Grammy Award singer.

However, no date has yet been set for the lawyers to appear before the Appeal Court.

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Jamaica Gleaner