Buju Banton’s legal team optimistic of his release

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The attorney representing reggae star Buju Banton is expressing optimism that he will be freed at the end of trial, which starts on Monday.

The 37-year-old artiste has been incarcerated in a US lock-up since December when he was arrested on drug trafficking charges.

Anxiety increased among Buju's fans this week when a second co accused turned state witness.

James Mack, 48, agreed to plead guilty to multiple drug charges and is expected to face a mandatory prison term.

He agreed to a deal which will see him serving 25 years in prison instead of the life imprisonment he would have received since he's a repeat offender.

The other co-defendant, 43-year-old Ian Thomas had already entered into a plea deal, which will see him serving seven years.

But on Thursday morning Mr. Markus asserted if the former co-accused men speak the truth the artiste will be vindicated.

“If they tell the truth, we believe that will happen. Thomas and Mack were at the deal and they did the deal,” he said.

Mr. Markus insisted that his client was nowhere near the scene when the alleged drug sale occurred.

He also confirmed reports that the Rastafarian DJ had lost weight after having a difficult time with his strict diet.

However, Mr. Markus said Buju, who recently released an album, remains in excellent spiritual and physical shape.