Michael Jackson Trial Set To Begin
Well, I guess this will be the “trial of this century.” As Jacko prepares for his day in court, he released a charming video statement on his website.
In a brief video statement the singer condemned recent media leaks in his case as “disgusting and false”.
“I have great faith in our justice system… [and] deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen.”
Mr Jackson said he allowed the alleged victim into his Neverland Ranch only after the boy’s family said he was battling cancer and needed help. The events have caused “a nightmare”, he said. “I have great faith in our justice system… [and] deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen,” he added. [BBC]
Some pre-trial news; the judge has allowed the documentary Living With Michael Jackson to be shown to the jurors.
Judge Rodney S. Melville rejected a request from prosecutors Friday that the courtroom be cleared of reporters and the public when the boy, 15, and his brother, 14, testify. Prosecutors said they wanted the testimony closed to protect the children from intense media coverage, proposing that reporters listen through an audio feed.
The defense and a coalition of news organizations, including The Associated Press, had argued that the testimony should be open. The judge also ruled on Friday that “erotic” material, including pictures of nude children, seized from the entertainer’s Neverland Ranch could be shown to jurors at his upcoming trial. However, the judge declined to provide Jesus Juice as the beverage of choice for the jurors.
Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. said the children did not need their identities protected because they had previously testified before a grand jury and appeared in a British documentary about Jackson that aired on ABC-TV in 2003. The boys “are not exactly innocent little lambs,” Mesereau said. [AP]