Another step in Buju’s bail hearing Thursday

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Magistrate Anthony Porcelli will on Thursday hear follow up arguments before he makes a decision on bail for Reggae star Buju Banton at the US Gibbons Court in Tampa, Florida, a newspaper has reported.

Banton's attorney David Markus had last week applied for bail for his client after a 12 member panel of jurors failed to arrive at a united verdict which resulted in the singer's trial for drug-related offenses ending in a mistrial.

He is set to be re-tried in December and Markus is seeking to have his client released until the trial starts. But Banton's immigration status has caused some worry as he is likely to be picked up by immigration authorities even if he is granted bail.

But United States prosecutor James Preston is not letting up and has asked the court to throw out Markus' application without a hearing.
Banton , whose real name is Mark Myrie, has been in jail since December when he was arrested at his Tamarac home in South Florida on cocaine conspiracy charges.

Mack and Thomas have signed plea deal arrangements and will be sentenced next month.

The singer's supporters and fans have started a drive to get 15,000 signatures on a petition to US Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to step in and thwart the prosecution's bid to keep him languishing in jail.