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Billie Jean Single Cover'Billie Jean' Voted Greatest Number One Ever. 31-07-'04

'Billie Jean', Michael Jackson's 1982 hit, has finished on top of the VH-1 UK's list to find the Greatest Ever Number Ones. The 1983 hit was chosen ahead of John Lennon's 'Imagine' and Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

The British public has made more than 20,000 votes, and almost half were in favour of the King of Pop's 'Thriller' track.

Three of the four entries, which Michael has made in the Top 100, are in the Top 40 now. 'Billie Jean' appeared at No.1, 'Earth Song' at No.22 and 'Black Or White' at No.31.

A VH1 spokeswoman said, "Michael Jackson won by a landslide, which just goes to show people still love his music despite what's going on in his life."

Source: Wales Online / Billie Jean

Teenager Made Accident On Neverland Ranch. 30-07-'04

A teenager riding an all-terrain vehicle at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch was hospitalized after the vehicle had a flat tire and flipped, an attorney for the entertainer said Friday.

The 15-year-old was airlifted from the ranch and he is just fine, no broken bones, no internal injuries, he's doing just fine, co-counsel Brian Oxman said.

The teenager was a private guest at the ranch, Oxman said. He would not release any more information about him. Jackson was not at Neverland when the accident occurred, Oxman said. A security guard at the ranch directed paramedics to the victim, who was at or near the main house, county officials told the Santa Barbara News-Press.

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch
Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Ranch – 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, Los Olivos, California.

Oxman said he didn't know where the accident took place or whether paramedics were called. A helicopter was ordered, he said. The teen was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, about 35 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, where he was listed in good condition, according to a nursing supervisor.

Oxman said it was his understanding the accident occurred Thursday (July 29), although he didn't know what time of day. He wasn't sure when the teenager would be released. "He's doing fine and that's the important thing. We're all glad that's the case," Oxman said.

Source: NBC11 / Billie Jean

Flex AlexanderJackson Actor Flex Alexander Feared Biopic Would Be Derogatory. 30-07-'04

The actor playing Michael Jackson in a new VH1 biography only signed up to play his hero when he was promised the project wouldn't be derogatory.

Flex Alexander had to be convinced to play Jackson in 'Man In The Mirror': The Michael Jackson Story' because he feared the TV movie would put the pop superstar in a bad light.

He says, "When I sat down with producers and saw that it wasn't a Michael-bashing movie, I was all in.

"I've always been a Michael fan. I wanted to become a Jehovah's Witness - that's how much of a fan I was."

The hard-hitting movie, which airs next month (August) in America, features all of Jackson's weird life - from his upbringing to his current legal problems and his child molestation charges.

The film also recreates Jackson's controversial interview with British journalist Martin Bashir and his infamous baby-dangling incident in Berlin, Germany.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean

Michael's Case Postponed Until January 2005. 27-07-'04

Judge Rodney Melville of Santa Maria (California) has decided to postpone the beginning of the case against Michael Jackson until January 31st 2005. The case had to be started on September 13th. This date was "exaggerated optimistic", means judge Rodney Melville.

The 45 year old Michael Jackson has been accused since the end of April in a case of sexual molestation of a minor. The singer plead innocent.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean

Michael JacksonJackson Accused Of Imprisoning His Accuser At Neverland. 27-07-'04

Prosecutors also claim boy was forced to make videotaped statement.

Prosecutors detailed the conspiracy aspect of their case against Michael Jackson on Tuesday, accusing him of imprisoning his accuser and coercing him to make a videotaped statement that no molestation had occurred, all while conducting a campaign to seduce him.

During the hearing in Santa Maria, California, for which the singer was not present, Deputy District Attorney Gordon Auchincloss claimed that Jackson panicked after the Martin Bashir documentary 'Living With Michael Jackson' aired in February 2003, since the show focused on his attachments to and behavior with young boys, including the alleged victim. In the program, Jackson defended his decision to let children sleep in his bed.

"Michael Jackson's rationalization of his conduct on international television was his downfall," Auchincloss said, according to wire reports. "His reputation was completely and utterly ruined, as was his image, his empire, his career. The documentary brought Jackson's whole world crashing down."

Auchincloss argued that Jackson then set about luring the boy's family to come stay at his Neverland Ranch, as well as various resorts, since he decided that they could be a valuable public relations tool to "quell the outrage." During this period, Auchincloss said, Jackson decided that he needed the alleged victim to say on tape that nothing inappropriate happened. Jackson also began to entice the boy with alcohol, Auchincloss claimed — wine in soda cans called "Jesus juice."

"At Neverland, there are late nights, no homework," Auchincloss said. "Do what you want, eat what you want, stay out late, no rules. It's a world of self-indulgence."

Auchincloss said that there were threats as well as enticements, and that the boy's mother was told she could leave but that her sons would have to stay. He characterized this as false imprisonment.

"The idea that they were imprisoned and forced to fly on private jets to Florida, to socialize with celebrities such as Chris Tucker, is absurd on its face," Jackson's attorney Thomas Mesereau countered. "It would be laughed out of court by a jury."

Auchincloss' arguments were a response to a defense motion to dismiss the case. Jackson's defense team also asked to delay the trial for four months, and called the prosecution's case "an effort to take down a major celebrity," in motions unsealed on Monday. Judge Rodney Melville granted the motion.

Jackson is now scheduled to stand trial on January 31, 2005.

Source: MTV / Billie Jean

Ann Gabriel
Ann Gabriel to testify in front of the grand jury.

[Jackson] D.A.: Testimony From Questionable Witness. 27-07-'04

Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon used someone who is now being called a questionable witness to help lock down his case against Michael Jackson.

According to papers uncovered by The Smoking Gun website, Sneddon brought in Ann Gabriel to testify in front of the grand jury about Jackson's "conspiracy" against his accuser and the accuser's family. But Stuart Backerman, Jackson's p.r. rep during the time of the alleged incident in early 2003, told me yesterday (July 26) that Gabriel was fired after 10 days on the job.

Her dates of employment, in fact, ended before the time Jackson is accused of anything by the district attorney. "This is a woman scorned," said Backerman, who noted that Gabriel, who'd been hired to help out with some p.r. duties in Las Vegas following the airing of the TV special 'Living with Michael Jackson', was fired for cause. "She was going to go on 'Access Hollywood' and read a press release, without any authorization," Backerman told me. "We stopped it, and then we let her go.

She was probably gone by February 18 or 19. She never met Michael Jackson or spoke to him. She knew nothing. She just wanted to be on TV." Backerman added: "She was aggressive, rude, and curt." In papers filed with the court, Jackson's attorneys point out that Sneddon is using Gabriel "as the key witness to establish Jackson's intent to participate in a controversy."

Meanwhile, Backerman says that he still has not heard from Jackson's attorney, Thomas Mesereau, and neither have some of the other key players from Jackson's organization during that crucial time period of February and March 2003. "They're losing out by not using us," says Backerman, who added, "we know everything that happened."

Source: Roger Friedman; Fox News / Billie Jean

MJ shopping spree at Houston MallJackson Goes On Surprise Shopping Spree At Houston Mall. 27-07-'04

A surprise visit by Michael Jackson to the Bayou City throws fans and shoppers into a frenzy. Michael Jackson was accompanied by his entourage and a female friend who identified herself as Monique.

Eyewitness News obtained exclusive access as Michael went on a shopping spree inside Memorial City Mall Tuesday evening. The King of Pop came to Houston on business, to meet with one of his attorneys on a music contract issue. He flew in late Monday night. While here, Jackson, accompanied by his entourage and a female friend who identified herself as Monique, went shopping. He didn’t answer any questions from our staff, but he was gracious to fans who turned out in throngs for the surprise visit.

Jackson shook hands, signed autographs, and even sampled a pretzel. He shopped mainly for toys, stopping in several stores. Jackson’s purchases were mostly whisked out to his vehicle, but we did spot him buying several teddy bears. Although fans weren’t expecting Jackson, they soon mobbed the stores where he shopped. Most we spoke with were unconcerned about the abuse allegations he faces. After his shopping spree, Jackson immediately left town again.

Source: ABC / Billie Jean

Birthday Bash For Joe Jackson Day. 26-07-'04

Joseph Jackson has a bunch of kids, including two who are really, really famous.

But none of them made an appearance Saturday night (July 24) at Jackson's birthday party at a private mansion in Las Vegas. Jackson turns 75 today.

The party, sponsored by something called Las Vegas Hollywood magazine, had a guest list of 500 people. There was no sign of any Jackson family member, starting with Joe's wife, Katherine. Also unseen were Michael, Janet, Randy, Jermaine, LaToya, et al.

Paris Hilton was spotted at the bash, which should be some comfort to Mr. Jackson.

"I thought it was kind of funny that it was a birthday party but there was no family there," said one guest who described the party as a publicity event to tout Jackson's "businesses."

As for celebrities, the biggest names I could extract were comedian George Wallace and singer Dawn Robinson of En Vogue fame. Otherwise, the various performers who appeared on the full stage erected at a private mansion were up-and-comers.

My source could not confirm whether a singer Jackson was touting three years ago was in attendance.

Joseph Jackson
Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson (born July 26, 1928) is a talent manager and is the father of Michael Jackson.

"The party was all about Joe Jackson," my source reported. "He was on stage all night."

Last year, Mr. Jackson's birthday party was held at son Michael's Neverland Ranch. But according to my source, "the place was trashed and Michael didn't want them back."

Since then, of course, Michael has stayed away from Neverland because of the November 2003 police raid there that led to his arrest on charges of child molestation.

Meantime, Michael and his insiders must be taking some solace in the fact that US Weekly's big scoop about his impending quadruplets appears to have disappeared from tabloid radar.

Jackson's team vehemently denied the story last week, and, just as quickly as US and the National Enquirer fought to claim authorship rights, it died.

So all of you who were buying four of everything from Las Vegas gift shops can breathe a sigh of relief.

Source: Roger Friedman; Fox News / Billie Jean

Tom Sneddon
Santa Barbara County District attorney Tom Sneddon.

Jackson Prosecutor Says Remarks Misunderstood. 24-07-'04

Michael Jackson's prosecutor, stung by criticism of his re marks at a district attorneys' conference, said Friday (July 23) he has never used his power inappropriately to prevent people from talking publicly about court cases.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he was not talking about the Jack son case, which would be a violation of a gag order. But he said he felt compelled to clarify remarks that have set off a storm of controversy.

"We have never ever sent a letter to someone telling them that they were under a gag order and not subpoenaed them and not had them testify," Sneddon said.

The uproar came after the Vancouver Globe and Mail in Canada reported that Sneddon had addressed a conference of the National District Attorneys Association this week and said he had notified people that they were witnesses in order to keep them from talking on TV.

The district attorney said Fri day his remarks were taken out of context. He also said he thought he was speaking at a "training session" which would not be covered by the press.

"We sent letters to some people saying we intended to call them as witnesses in order to keep them off TV," Sneddon was quoted as saying in his appearance at the conference.

The district attorney said Friday his remarks were taken out of context. He also said he understood he was speaking at a "training session" which would not be covered by the press.

Sneddon said he was part of a panel that included Stanislaus County District Attorney James Brazleton, who handled the Scott Peterson case, and Fairfax County, Va., prosecutor Bob Horan, who handled the sniper prosecutions in Virginia, as well as Canadian prosecutors working on a high-profile criminal case stemming from the 1985 crash of an Air India flight off Ireland.

He acknowledged he had cautioned prosecutors not to expect the press to be fair, but he reiterated that his remarks about sending gag order letters to witnesses was misinterpreted.

"We've never used that as a way to shut people up and keep them from talking," said Sneddon. "I would have to be criminally dumb to get up and say that. I may have some failings but that's not one of them."

Sneddon called an Associated Press reporter after his remarks were widely reported. Other California attorneys had suggested Sneddon was advocating unethical conduct and should be investigated by the state Bar Association.

Sneddon has been criticized by the Jackson defense for personally conducting surveillance of a private investigator's office in the case.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to molesting a boy and other charges.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean

MTV Germany 23rd Birthday Poll. 21-07-'04

MTV is celebrating it's 23rd birthday by playing the all time greatest videos from the years 1981 to 2003. Six of Michael's videos are in the running. But you have to hurry because the poll closes July 30!

Source: MTV Germany / Billie Jean

Michael JacksonJackson Denies Quadruplets Report. 20-07-'04

Beleaguered pop star Michael Jackson today flatly denied a magazine report that he is about to become a father to quadruplets by way of a surrogate mother. "This is not true, and we are not going to further comment on stories of this nature," publicist Raymone Bain said when asked about the report in Us Weekly magazine.

Bain also denied that Jackson, who is facing a trial later this year on child molestation charges, was to be the father of any children born through a surrogate-mother arrangement. "This is not true. None of this is true," she said.

But a spokesperson for Us Weekly said the magazine stood by its story, which cited unnamed sources close to Jackson as saying he recently spent time in Florida with a woman who was pregnant with quads she was to bear for the singer.

The 45-year-old performer already has three children -- Prince Michael I and daughter Paris Michael by his former wife, Debbie Rowe, and Prince Michael II, the child he notoriously dangled from the balcony of a Berlin hotel in November 2002.

Jackson later revealed in a television documentary that Prince Michael II had been born to a woman who was essentially a stranger to him. "I used a surrogate mother and my own sperm cells," he told British interviewer Martin Bashir. "She doesn't know me."

It was in that same interview that Jackson ignited a public furor by saying he saw nothing wrong with having other children spend the night with him in the bedroom of his Neverland Ranch home in California. One youth who appeared in that documentary is now at the center of the child molestation case pending against the performer.

Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with committing lewd acts on a boy under the age of 14, as well as child abduction, extortion and false imprisonment. He has pleaded innocent, and a trial is set for Sept. 13.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean

The Jacksons Story CD Album Cover'The Jacksons Story' CD Album Is Available. 20-07-'04

The cd album 'The Jacksons Story' is released in the USA by Hip-O Records. For the first time on a single-disc compilation, Hip O's 'The Jacksons Story' combines both the group's Motown and Epic singles along with solo hits by Michael and Jermaine.

Spanning 1969-1983, the program begins with early-'70s J5 chart-toppers like 'I Want You Back,' 'll Be There,' and 'ABC,' then delves into Michael's initial solo records of the same era: 'Ben,' 'Rockin' Robin,' and 'Got To Be There.' By 1976, the Jacksons had severed their long relationship with Motown and switched to Epic, reflected here by seven noteworthy tunes, including 'Enjoy Yourself' and 'Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground).'

When the group changed record companies, Jermaine, who was married to the daughter of Motown honcho Berry Gordy, remained and was rewarded with his first solo hit in 1980's 'Let's Get Serious.' The disc wraps up with two songs that represent the beginning of Michael's solo career in earnest with 1979's 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough' and the massive hit 'Billie Jean,' released four years later. Though it's not as comprehensive as 1995's 21-track 'Ultimate Collection', 'The Jacksons Story' holds together well and still offers a decent selection of the band's career highlights.

Track list:

1. I Want You Back - The Jackson 5 - 2:59
2. ABC - The Jackson 5 - 2:57
3. The Love You Save - The Jackson 5 - 3:04
4. I'll Be There - The Jackson 5 - 3:56
5. Mama's Pearl - The Jackson 5 - 3:10
6. Never Can Say Goodbye - The Jackson 5 - 3:00
7. Got To Be There - Michael Jackson - 3:24
8. Rockin' Robin - Michael Jackson - 2:32
9. Ben - Michael Jackson - 2:47
10. Dancing Machine - The Jackson 5 - 2:37
11. Let's Get Serious - Jermaine Jackson - 3:34
12. Enjoy Yourself - The Jacksons - 3:25
13. Show You The Way To Go - The Jacksons - 5:27
14. Blame It On The Boogie - The Jacksons - 3:30
15. Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) - The Jacksons - 3:46
16. Lovely One - The Jacksons - 3:45
17. This Place Hotel - The Jacksons - 4:50
18. Can You Feel It - The Jacksons - 3:51
19. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson - 6:04
20. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson - 4:53

Record label: Hip-O Records
Series number: 602498631188
Printed: USA
Guide price: 18 €

Order the cd album here at Amazon.

Source: AllMusic / Billie Jean

Lawsuit1993 : Excerpts From The Transcript Of The July 9, 2004 Hearing. 18-07-'04

Excerpts from the transcript of the July 9, 2004 hearing page 43 Mr. Mesereau: 5 "... (the settlement) agreement was a settlement of a negligence claim in which he admitted doing nothing wrong. As the Court knows better than I do, civil settlements of this nature are often done where the negligence claim is settled so that insurance companies can fund the settlement.

There was never any admission by Mr. Jackson that he ever did anything negligent or anything wrong at all. There was public comment in the media, again, about this 11-year-old case to the effect that somehow he admitted negligence, which was completely false. It was a technical legal way of settling a case so insurance companies could fund a settlement and he could get on with his personal life and his business life. I don't believe that the Court's gag order 21 precludes Mr. Jackson from commenting on an 11-year-old civil settlement.

He has been involved in other civil cases as well, and I do not believe your gag order -- and please correct me if I'm wrong. As I read it, it does not preclude him from talking about other cases he's been in in his lifetime. Now, I would remind the Court that we have Page 44 asked repeatedly for the prosecution to inform us if they intend to introduce any evidence of alleged similar facts under 1101, and they have stated on the record they have not so notified us. The question is, if somebody leaks this document from an 11-year-old case in an obvious attempt to prejudice this case, given the gag order, is Mr. Jackson precluded from saying anything about 9that 11-year-old case? And Mr. Auchincloss has attempted to suggest that these statements all relate to this case, and that is untrue. I can go through them one by one and show the Court how they relate to that '93 case where he also denied any wrongdoing with respect to any alleged act of child sexual assault or molestation.

The court: I don't think you need to do that. Let me cut you short here, because you're -- you're really missing the whole point. The -- you were not the lead attorney at the time that a lot of work was done on the gag order with counsel contributing suggestions. And the one that was finally adopted was, I think, pretty agreeable to everybody, considering that there was going to be a gag order, you know, given that fact, and we got to an order that was accepted. And the order prohibits a witness, and Mr. Page 45 Jackson certainly comes within that potential, from discussing evidentiary matters, and he in fact was discussing a matter which you have just acknowledged may or may not be evidence in this case, which is exactly the problem, because the Court has yet to rule on whether or not, if that evidence is proffered, it will be admissible. So he's discussing potential evidence. Not only that, he addressed the jury venire directly. He addressed the community. And so he violated, in a sense, the gag order. There is a thin line here, you know.

The Court certainly does not want to prohibit any individual from stating their innocence, being allowed to say, "I'm innocent," you know."

Source: MJJSource / Billie Jean

Tom Sneddon
Santa Barbara County District attorney Tom Sneddon.

DA Will Take Stand At Jackson Hearing, Not Tape Testimony. 17-07-'04

Michael Jackson's defense lawyers want Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon to take the stand in August to question him in open court, rather than videotape his testimony earlier. Last week in court, Mr. Jackson's lawyers -- led by Thomas Mesereau -- announced they had subpoenaed Mr. Sneddon to testify in his own child molestation case against their client, along with a district attorney's investigator and several sheriff's detectives.

However, Mr. Sneddon will be on vacation during the next scheduled hearing on July 27. So rather than videotape his testimony earlier, the defense will question the prosecutor during the Aug. 16 hearing, court documents released Thursday (July 15) indicate. At issue is whether Mr. Sneddon knew that private investigator Bradley Miller was working for Mr. Jackson's lawyer at the time, Mark Geragos, when he obtained an affidavit to raid Mr. Miller's Beverly Hills office in November.

In the meantime, media attorney Theodore Boutrous has requested that justices from the state Court of Appeal expedite review of his challenge to Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville's practice of routinely sealing documents in the Jackson case, keeping even basic facts about the alleged crimes secret.

"The trial court has principally justified these extraordinary procedures, and the resulting secrecy, based on Mr. Jackson's fame and celebrity status and the intense public and media interest in this case," Mr. Boutrous stated in his motion filed with the justices Thursday (July 15). "But these general concerns do not come close to defeating the public's presumptive rights of access to judicial records and hearings."

Source: News Press / Billie Jean

Rodney Melville
Judge Rodney Melville

Judge Seals Defence Motion To Postpone Trial. 15-07-'04

The judge in the Michael Jackson child molestation case, who has been keeping most evidence and documents secret, sealed a motion Wednesday (July 14) in which Jackson's lawyers are asking to postpone the trial.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville gave no reason for sealing the request other than to say it was done with "good cause having been shown." It was impossible to tell from the motion notice how long a delay is sought.

In May, the judge set a trial date of Sept. 13 but acknowledged the parties might not be ready by then. He called the date "a bull's eye that we're shooting at" after noting complaints from Jackson's attorneys about the volume of evidence they still had to examine.

The defense and prosecution are under orders to file every document in the case under seal and then let the judge decide if it should be made public. In some instances the judge has released heavily edited documents including a motion to dismiss the charges. But he has kept secret many details of the grand jury indictment of Jackson and the transcripts of grand jury hearings.

But none of the sealed material has been as perfunctory as a request to continue a trial date.

Lawyers in the case are under a court-imposed gag order preventing them from commenting on when the trial might start.

Source: Associated Press / Billie Jean

Tom SneddonTom Sneddon To Testify For Jackson's Defence Team. 11-07-'04

Santa Barbara, California, District Attorney Tom Sneddon is set to testify before Michael Jackson's defence team after it alleged he sent investigators to garner evidence against the pop superstar that was off-limits.

Sneddon has been subpoenaed by the defence to testify about what he knew and when he knew it when issuing a search warrant for a private investigators office in Beverly Hills.

Jackson's attorneys maintain that the detective was working on behalf of the pop star's former lawyer Mark Geragos, and that his findings, which were seized by the prosecution, cannot be used in the upcoming child molestation trial.

Meanwhile, at a pre-trial hearing in Santa Maria, California, on Friday (July 9), Judge Rodney Melville admonished both the prosecution and Jackson's defence attorney Thomas Mesereeau for compromising the case.

Melville criticised the prosecutors for delaying the trial by not handing over evidence to their defence counterparts, and he admonished Mesereau violating a gag order, stating, "You are the new kid on the block, but you're not the new kid anymore."

Melville then agreed to give the defence more time for questioning. The two sides in the case are due back in court on July 27. Jackson is not expected to be present.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean

Indictment Motion To Be Discussed Later This Month. 10-07-'04

Michael Jackson's attorneys were in court once again yesterday (July 9) to attend the latest hearing in the case against the King of Pop.

Several items were discussed at the hearing, many of which were complaints made by defence attorneys about conduct by prosecutors during their investigations.

According to news-press, defence attorneys argued that prosecutors carried out a "blatantly illegal" search of "outrageous government misconduct" when raiding the office of private investigator Bradley Miller.

Miller worked for Mark Geragos (Michael's former attorney) and defence attorneys argued that when raiding the office, police officers "sledge hammered" their way into the premises and took items that were in fact not listed in the search warrant and were protected by attorney-client privilege.

Michael Jackson Attorneys
Michael Jackson defense attorneys, Brian Oxman (C), Susan Yu (R) and Thomas Mesereau (L), depart the Santa Maria Courthouse.

District attorney Tom Sneddon has been ordered to testify on this matter by judge Rodney Melville, according to the Associated Press. A hearing has been scheduled for July 27th, and Sneddon has been told by the judge to cancel his vacation which was previously booked for this time.

Sneddon offered to testify immediately, however defence attorneys asked for a delay in order to study materials just handed over to them. These materials included a transcript of a videotape of an interview conducted by police of the accuser's mother on July 6th, 2003 - four months before Michael Jackson was arrested.

In other matters, the 995 motion to throw out the grand jury indictment which was filed by defence attorneys earlier this week was not discussed at yesterday's hearing, and has been postponed until July 27th, allowing them more time to prepare.
Further dates for hearings have been set including August 16th, in which Michael does not have to attend. And of course, September 13th has been set as a tentative date for the start of the trial.

Source: MJNI / Billie Jean

Appeals CourtAppeals Court Tells Judge To Reconsider Jackson Bail Amount. 09-07-'04

An appeals court ordered the judge in the Michael Jackson child molestation case to reconsider whether the pop star’s $3 million bail is excessive and should be reduced. In a brief order responding to an appeal by defense lawyers, the appeals court sent the issue back to Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville for “further proceedings and findings.”

The trial court shall have the discretion whether to hold a further evidentiary hearing,” the court said in its two-sentence order. Criminal defense attorney Steve Cron said the appeals court was sending a message to Melville that he did not adequately explain his decision to maintain Jackson’s bail at $3 million . “The appellate court, by sending it back to the trial court, is saying there’s something wrong with the judge’s decision,” Cron said.

The ruling from the California 2nd District Court of Appeals in Ventura County cited its own 2001 decision in a case involving George Christie of the Hells Angels. In that case, the court also asked a trial court to make more specific findings for a bail of $1 million. Jackson’s lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr., had petitioned Melville to reduce the singer’s bail to no more than $435,000, saying Jackson was not a flight risk and had appeared in court whenever he was ordered to do so. He said the $3 million exceeded any standard bail schedule, but the judge suggested Jackson’s wealth required it. “While there has to date been no significant issue with regard to the defendant’s appearance at scheduled court events, it continues to appear to the court that a … financial incentive to do so should be in place,” Melville wrote in his ruling.

Jackson, 45, has pleaded not guilty to committing a lewd act upon a child, administering alcohol and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. Cron said penal code section cited in the appellate order makes no mention of a defendant’s wealth as a criteria for setting bail. Mesereau and new co-counsel Brian Oxman said they could not comment because of a court imposed gag order. Mesereau argued in his legal papers that Jackson’s bail should be lowered because of his charitable contributions, lack of criminal record and ties to Santa Barbara County, where the case was filed. He said there were no legal grounds for setting Jackson’s bail higher than normal just because of the singer’s wealth.

Prosecutors said Jackson was likely to flee the country if his bail was reduced. Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen previously said $3 million was comparable to what Jackson would spend in a weekend in Las Vegas and noted that the pop star has described himself as a billionaire.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean

Case Should Be Rejected According To Michael's Lawyers. 08-07-'04

Michael Jackson's lawyers have asked the judge Wednesday (July 7) to reject his case, because the accusers should be "incompetent" and that there should not be enough proofs.

Lawyer Thomas Mesereau adjust that the documents contains procedure faults and that the right of Michael Jackson on a fair trial should have been damaged. Jacksons lawyer continues that attorney Thomas Sneddon has frighten up the witnesses during sessions behind closet doors.

"The act of accusation should be rejected because the room of indictment can not put before proofs to accuse Jackson of the accusations which were submit before him," so besides the lawyer.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean

Robert Sanger
Jackson's attorney Robert Sanger.

Jackson's Lawyers Plea To Dump Indictment. 08-07-'04

Michael Jackson's lawyers have asked a Californian judge to throw out a grand jury indictment on child molestation charges.

The self-proclaimed 'King Of Pop' was indicted in a Santa Maria court in April on ten charges, including child molestation, administering an intoxicating agent to a child and false imprisonment.

Jackson's attorney Robert Sanger filed a motion on Wednesday (July 7), claiming prosecutors bullied witnesses and "ran the proceedings as if they employed the grand jurors".

The motion said, "There is no case in the history of the state of California that has condoned anything like the abuse of power demonstrated in this grand jury proceeding."

Jackson's lawyers accuse the prosecutors who ran the secret grand jury hearings of "by innuendo and sarcasm, impugning Mr Jackson by ridiculing those allegedly associated with him and even those who sought to legally represent him."

One witness whose evidence was quoted at length was clearly identifiable as Russel Halpern, the lawyer who represented the father of Jackson's teenage accuser in a custody dispute with the boy's mother. The couple are now divorced.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to all charges, following his arrest in November (03).

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean

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