Buju takes new lawyer

Reggae artiste Buju Banton (left) and his lawyers, including David Oscar Markus (2nd right), outside the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa, Florida during his second trial in February 2011.

KINGSTON — Imprisoned Jamaican reggae artiste Buju Banton has changed his long-time attorney David Oscar Markus, who has been representing him since his arrest in 2009 in Florida.

His new lawyer is now Chokwe Lumumba, a 40-year legal veteran from Mississippi, US.

Yesterday, Markus confirmed that the change took place over the last few days.

“We are still brothers and I hope for him the very best,” Markus told the Observer.

“I have a special place in my heart for Jamaica and its people after this case. The nicest people I ever met came from this case,” said Markus who became known to Jamaicans for his strident defence of the Grammy-winning artiste over his two trials starting in September 2010.

Buju was convicted in February 2011 on gun and drug-related charges and later sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. During sentencing last year June, the judge threw out the gun conviction.

Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, appealed his conviction and applied for a new trial. He subsequently lost his appeal and the appellate court reinstated the gun conviction. Buju is to be sentenced October 30 on the gun matter for which he could pick up an additional five years.

Lumumba is reportedly awaiting legal documents in the matter to proceed with Buju’s case. (Observer)

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