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Uncle Sam objects to bail for Buju

Published:Friday | October 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Buju Banton - File

Prosecutors in the United States have urged the Middle District Court of Florida to dismiss the latest bail application from lawyers representing reggae superstar Buju Banton.

In a response filed yesterday, the prosecutors argued that Buju's lawyer had presented "no legal support for his request and wholly ignores this court's earlier order of detention".

"The defendant has presented nothing new, other than a hung jury, for the court's consideration," said assistant US attorney James Preston Jr.

He said Buju had failed to rebut the presumption that no condition or combination of conditions would reasonably assure that he was not a flight risk.

According to the prosecutor, the court should rule that the, "Order of Detention remain in place and the bail application dismissed without further hearing."

The prosecutors were responding to an application filed on Tuesday by attorney David Oscar Markus who asked the court to grant bail to the reggae superstar whose correct name is Mark Myrie.

Not a flight risk

In his application, made two days after a judge declared a mistrial in the illegal drug and gun case, Markus argued that Buju was not a flight risk and was an internationally known reggae star who could stay at his house in South Florida with an ankle monitor.

"Mr Myrie is not a danger to the community. He has no felony convictions and the government has never suggested that he poses a danger," Markus added as he pointed to the hung jury at Buju's trial on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine and possession of a firearm during a drug deal.

Markus further argued that the reason Buju was not granted bail initially was because his US visa had been revoked.

The defence lawyer said if Buju was granted bail by the criminal court, a similar application would be made in the immigration court to allow the entertainer to end what has so far been an almost 10-month stay in detention.

October 6 has been set as the date when Judge Anthony Porcelli will hold a bond hearing.