Buju: 'I can't wait to sleep in my own bed'

Awaits outcome of immigration bond application

BY PAUL HENRY Observer staff reporter henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 15, 2010

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AFTER spending the last 10 months behind bars in the US, an eager Buju Banton said after being offered bail yesterday that he can't wait to sleep in his own bed.

Marc Seitles, one of Banton’s lawyers, said the artiste was looking forward to going home.

“I met with Buju after the hearing and he was very positive and looking forward to sleeping in his own bed in Tamarac, Florida,” Seitles told the Observer.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, was offered bail in the sum of US$250,000 with security.

But he will not be immediately released as his lead attorney, David Oscar Markus, will now have to seek bond in the immigration court to prevent his deportation to Jamaica. Banton's entertainment visa was revoked after he was arrested at his home last December.

As part of Banton's strict bail condition, he will have to wear an electronic monitoring device and will be subjected to house arrest and 24-hour security, to be paid for by the defence.

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 speaking with the Observer yesterday, Markus expressed satisfaction with Magistrate's Anthony Porcelli’s decision to grant his client bail.

“We are extremely pleased that bond was granted...,” Markus said. “It was the right decision because Buju isn’t a risk of flight or a danger to the community.”

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