Buju Banton to return next Monday for sentencing

ENTERTAINER Buju Banton will have to wait until next Monday before he knows his fate on ganja possession and cultivating charges.

The entertainer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was found guilty in the Half-Way-Tree Resident Magistrate's Court last Friday and returned yesterday where sentencing was expected to be handed down. However, when the entertainer returned to court yesterday, his attorney Christopher Dunkley applied to Resident Magistrate Kissock Laing for a postponement of sentencing, telling the magistrate that he would be asking the court to exercise its discretion in not recording the ganja conviction against his client.

Pointing out that his client had certain professional commitments abroad, Dunkley submitted that he would be researching two pieces of legislation to make a determination whether the court has any discretion not to record the conviction of his client. Resident Magistrate Laing accepted the submission and extended the entertainer 's bail before granting the postponement. Dunkley later told the Observer that Buju Banton would be leaving the island today for overseas engagement, but would return in time for court next Monday. Banton was arrested by the Constant Spring police on December 3 last year when cops entered his Kingston recording studio and rooted up two fully grown ganja plants.

Police also alleged that his behaviour towards them was disrespectful. Yesterday, about a dozen Rastafarian placard-bearing protesters, mostly women, turned up at court in support of the entertainer. Some of them carried placards which read: "Free up weed " and "Weed have fe bun"