Buju’s lawyers seek new trial
FLORIDA – Attorneys for Jamaica-born Grammy Award reggae singer, Buju Banton, are seeking to have a new trial for their client who had been convicted on drug related charges last week.
Attorney David Oscar Markus have filed a motion in the United States District Court, Tampa Division, asking for acquittal or a new trial, and that the reggae star be released on bail.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was found guilty last Tuesday on three of four drug charges by a 12-member jury. He is awaiting sentencing and could face up to 20 years in jail.
However, Markus said the defence is renewing its motion to have Banton, 37, released from custody.
“Defendant Mark Myrie respectfully renews his motion… for an order releasing him from custodial confinement during the pendency of his direct appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit,” according to the motion.
The attorney also said the defense was moving for the entry of a judgement of acquittal or, in the alternative, that the court grant Banton a new trial, “based on the absence of substantial credible evidence sufficient to prove the (prosecution’s) allegations beyond a reasonable doubt” at last month’s trial.
“Mr Myrie also reiterates the objections and motions he made before and during the first and second trials… the court must consider whether it is in the interest of justice to let the verdicts stand,” the motion read.
“Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33 states that on motion of the defendant, the court may grant a new trial if required in the interest of justice,” it added.
Markus is also arguing that the Court must consider whether it is in the interest of justice to let the verdicts stand. He also pointed to what he said were issues of insufficient evidence presented by the United States government. (CMC)