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Will Buju get a new trial?

Friday, December 21, 2012    

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FOUR witnesses yesterday testified in the evidentiary hearing of imprisoned Grammy-winning reggae artiste Buju Banton in Florida.

The hearing is to determine whether a reported admission by a female juror to a Florida-based media house that she violated federal regulations was a breach of Banton's rights.

The artiste is currently serving a 10-year sentence in a Florida prison following his drug and gun conviction early last year.

The woman reportedly said that during the trial she used the Internet to research aspects of the case, including a law used to prosecute Banton — whose real name is Mark Myrie — in relation to an illegal firearm.

Yesterday, the juror in question testified that she did not tell the reporter she conducted her research during the trial. However, the recording of the interview was played and seemed to have contradicted her evidence.

The reporter, Chris Sweeney, also gave evidence contrary to that of the juror.

Banton's legal team made closing arguments about why a mistrial should be granted.

The matter was adjourned without the setting of a return date.

If the court rules for a mistrial Banton could get a new trial.

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