The management team of jailed Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton, born Mark Anthony Myrie, is questioning the release of previously sealed video evidence from the singer’s 2010 trial on drug-related charges.
Old surveillance footage
ABC news published what the team called “excerpt of old surveillance footage to the Internet on May 27, 2018.” For many years, officials in the US asked for the undercover video to remain sealed and out of public view, but an appeal by ABC News led to its unsealing.
The video provides the most complete account of how the reggae artist ended up being convicted on two counts for his part in a cocaine-selling conspiracy. He has maintained his innocence throughout the process and said he never intended to complete a drug deal.
Buju preparing for his release
The ABC report comes as Banton, is preparing to return to Jamaica after serving nearly a decade behind bars.
“The timing of the ABC report raises many important questions: What purpose does this report serve?” the team questioned in a statement. “Why unseal this dated footage now, when Myrie is preparing to resume his life and career? And finally, why did an American news network that has previously shown little interest in Buju Banton’s life and career choose to run a lengthy article that omits crucial and readily available information about the case against Mark Myrie?”
The Banton team also disclosed that the singer is focused is on the future: returning to his family, recording music for his fans and making a positive contribution to society.
“Mark is a warrior,” Attorney David Oscar Markus, who represented Myrie said. “He fought two trials and numerous appeals against a system that included a corrupt juror. He could’ve taken a deal after the first hung trial that would’ve sent him home, but Mark’s philosophy was: better to fight on your feet than live on your knees.”