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Lawyer representing Jamaica reggae star Buju Banton, David Oscar Markus, is insisting that his client did not commit a crime the day of the alleged drug deal on December 10, 2009.
Markus accused the US Government of “setting up a strawman” using a paid government informant. Markus want the jury to be instructed to consider whether Buju was entrapped or he withdrew from the crimes of which he has been accused.
According to Markus, “it is confusing and misleading.”
“I am going to argue to the jury very forcefully that he did not commit a crime,” Markus added.
David Markus told judge Jim Moody that Buju Banton did not commit a crime on the day he met with government informant Alexander Johnson. He argue that the crime was committed on December 10, 2009, the day the day Ian Thomas and James Mack attempted to purchase the drugs from undercover detectives in the warehouse, and Buju was not a part of it.
Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, previous trial ended last September in a mistrial, after jury in the case could not reach a unanimous verdict. His second trial began on Monday (February 14) in the Sam M Gibbons Federal court in Tampa, Florida.
Banton is being tried for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine; attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offence; and using the wires to facilitate a drug trafficking offence.
If convicted Banton faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and fined up to US$4 million.