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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Buju Banton Expected to Stand Trial in Less Than 24hrs

On his upcoming album "Before the Dawn," Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton sings about standing strong, though battered and bruised, in the face of a gathering darkness.

The prophetic album which was recorded before Buju's incarceration, is scheduled for release one week and a day after his trial begins hearing. September 28th to be precise.  Lyrics from one of the songs on "Before the Dawn" went "I've been accused, wrongly convicted. Jah knows I'm innocent," he sings in his deep and strong voice. "I've been badly singled out by beloved friends ... who sold me out."

He worked on the album with producers and engineers over the phone from Tampa-area jails, where Buju Banton has been held without bail since the beginning of the year.

Buju recorded the album's 10 songs last year in Kingston, Jamaica, before his arrest at his Miami-area home on a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. 

Both co-defendants have since passed week agreed to testify for the prosecution as part of their plea agreements. Banton's attorney has requested Mack as a witness as well, according to court documents.
Banton's team will try to prove the singer, who rose from the slums of Kingston to massive success in the 1990s, was a victim of entrapment. Banton's attorney, David Markus, has said in court that the confidential informant has been paid $3.3 million for working with law enforcement over several years, including more than $35,000 in Banton's case. The informant met Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, in first class on a flight from Spain to Miami at the end of Banton's European tour last summer.
Banton's team contends that it was the informant who raised the idea of the cocaine deal with Banton.
"Paying a convicted drug trafficker millions of dollars for setting up an innocent productive member of society is wrong," Markus said in an e-mail. "The prosecution's star is laughing at all of us — he doesn't pay taxes, he stopped paying the mortgage on his million dollar house, he doesn't pay his credit cards, and he gets to stay in this country even though he committed crimes here as an illegal immigrant. We're hoping the jury will see through his charade."
Buju Banton's arrest had derailed plans to tour Japan among other upcoming projects.
In the liner notes to "Before the Dawn." He includes a note written in June from the Pinellas County jail urging fans to "stand firm through our adversities" and to "try life."
"Never before could I attest to the trauma experienced by others," Banton wrote, "but my current situation brings the full perspective of what bondage really means."


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