Judge frees rapper Rhymes

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The Independent Culture

A High Court judge tonight ordered the immediate release of American rapper Busta Rhymes who has been detained at London City Airport since he arrived in the UK this morning to play a charity gig.

Rhymes, real name Trevor George Smith Jr, was denied entry because it was alleged he had "unresolved convictions in the USA", concert promoter Orange said.

The 36-year-old rapper is due to play at the Orange RockCorps gig at the Royal Albert Hall, London, tomorrow.

Mr Justice Flaux, who this morning granted an injunction by telephone to prevent Rhymes being returned to Amsterdam, had heard that the rapper had been kept in a room measuring 7ft by 8ft under the eyes of five armed police officers.

Ruling that it was arguable that Rhymes's detention was unlawful, he said: "It seems to me that it is difficult to see upon what basis the temporary admission of the claimant or his temporary release into the jurisdiction has been refused...

"In all the circumstances it seems to me that he is entitled to an order that he be released forthwith or alternatively is entitled to bail."

He said that the rapper intended to stay at the St Martin's Lane Hotel, in London, until the concert, before returning to the US on Saturday morning.

The judge ordered a speedy hearing, likely to take place tomorrow afternoon at the High Court of Rhymes's application for permission to bring a judicial review challenge of the legality of his detention.

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