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Buju hopes to be on the road next week

Published:Friday | November 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Buju Banton - File

Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton's attorney expects him to be out of jail by next week, after a federal judge denied a prosecution appeal over the entertainer's bail.

Buju has been sitting behind bars since he was arrested last December on federal drug-trafficking charges. A jury failed to arrive at a verdict in September, and another trial is scheduled for February.

"We are hopeful he will be able to sleep in his own bed by the end of next week," Buju's lawyer, David Markus, said this week. "The next step is posting the bond. Then we will address the immigration issues."

Immigration authorities have placed a detainer on the singer, so if he is released from jail in the criminal case, an immigration judge must decide whether to release him.

Last week, US Magistrate Anthony Porcelli ruled that Buju could be released under stringent conditions. However, he stayed his ruling to allow the prosecution to appeal to US District Judge James Moody.

Moody denied the appeal without comment.

Bail conditions

Under the terms of Buju's bond, he must post $300,000 worth of equity in the South Florida home of fellow reggae singer Stephen Marley, son of Bob Marley.

Buju is also required to hire a private security detail to guard him so he does not flee.

Buju was required to sign an extradition waiver, ensuring his return if he flees the country, and will have to wear an electronic monitoring device.

The singer is accused of being a drug trafficker who tried to enter into a deal with an informant to finance the purchase and sale of cocaine.

The defence claims the singer was set up by the informant.