Buju yet to take up bail offer

Buju Banton

REGGAE star Buju Banton is yet to put in place the necessary requirements to take up his $250,000-bail bond that was offered a week ago in the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in the US state of Florida.

The Observer has been informed that meeting the strict conditions set by Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli last week Thursday is the reason the fourtime Grammy nominee artiste has not completed the bail process.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, was offered bail after 10 months behind bars, following his arrest last December at his Tamarac home in Florida.

As part of Banton’s strict bail conditions, he will have to wear an electronic monitoring device and will be subjected to house arrest and 24-hour security, which should be paid for by him.

Under the terms of the house arrest, Banton can only leave his house for meetings with his attorney, for doctor’s appointments, to purchase medication and for court-appointed hearings. He will also be subjected to drug testing.

He will have to surrender all his travel documents.

The conditions are such as there is a concern that the artiste may be a flight risk.

But yesterday, David Oscar Markus, the lead attorney on Banton’s legal team, said the artiste will be out soon.

“Buju is hanging in there. He is very thankful for all of the support and friendship. Hopefully he will be out soon,” Markus told the Observer.

After clearing this hurdle of satisfying the bail conditions, Banton’s legal team will have to seek bond in the immigration court to prevent his deportation to Jamaica. Banton’s entertainment visa was revoked following his arrest.

Banton’s bond offer followed his trial which ended in September with a hung jury. The artiste is facing charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute five kilogrammes of cocaine and possession of a firearm during the furtherance of a crime. A retrial will be held in December but a date is yet to be set.

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