Reggae Singer Buju Banton Remains Jailed


CaribWorldNews, TAMPA, FL, Thurs. Oct. 28, 2010: Prosecutors again blocked attempts to release Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton  on bail even as a judge approved new conditions for his release.

Prosecutors say they plan to appeal the new bail conditions set by U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli yesterday, even as the judge approved a housing bond and a security company.

The new conditions laid out Wednesday include a $300,000 bond secured by the Miami-Dade County home of Stephen Marley, the son of reggae legend Bob Marley and the approval of a security company that also put up a separate $25,000 bond to keep Banton on house arrest at his home in Tamarac, outfit him with a GPS monitor and install new locks and an alarm system at his house.

Under the new ruling, Banton will be unable to get the keys or the alarm code.  He will also be required to wear a tracking device and pay for the security detail which will be watching him 24 hours a day pending the outcome of his retrial in December and will only be able to leave his Tamarac, South Florida home to purchase medication, see his attorney or attend court.

But Porcelli delayed Banton`s release for five business days to allow Assistant U.S. Attorney James Preston to appeal to U.S. District Judge James Moody.

`The government`s dogged attempt to keep Buju behind bars is disheartening,` defense attorney David Oscar Markus said in a statement.

The latest conditions come even as an immigration judge still would have to consider whether to give him bond in federal court as his entertainment visa was revoked upon his arrest last December.

Banton, 37, is charged with trying to buy 5 kilograms of cocaine. His first trial ended in a mistrial in September. Banton has maintained his innocence and has rejected a plea bargain deal, offered to him by prosecutors.


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