Page last updated at 15:00 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 16:00 UK

Jackson 'had lethal drug levels'

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson was being treated for insomnia, court documents show

Pop star Michael Jackson had lethal levels of the powerful anaesthetic propofol in his body when he died, coroner's office documents show.

The findings were contained in a previously sealed search warrant which has been made public in Texas.

The singer died in June from a cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles. Police have interviewed his doctor, but he has not been named as a suspect.

There are reports that the coroner has concluded Jackson's death was homicide.

The reports, carried by the Associated Press news agency quoting unnamed police sources, have not been confirmed.

But the BBC's Rajesh Mirchandani in Los Angeles says homicide includes manslaughter, and investigators have been trying to establish if there is a case for that charge.

PROPOFOL
A powerful anaesthetic usually used before and during surgery
Can also be used in small doses to reduce stress or anxiety
Produced as a white, opaque fluid and administered intravenously
Marketed under the trade name Diprivan

Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, has denied any wrongdoing.

Dr Murray's lawyer Ed Chernoff said in a statement that various details surrounding the investigation were just "police theory".

"Dr Murray simply never told investigators that he found Michael Jackson at 11am not breathing. He also never said that he waited a mere ten minutes before leaving to make several phone calls.

"In fact, Dr. Murray never said that he left Michael Jackson's room to make phone calls at all."

Mr Chernoff added he would comment on the coroner's report when it is officially released.

Details of the Los Angeles County coroners' findings were revealed when a search warrant affidavit was made public in Houston, Texas, where Dr Murray has offices.

Dr Murray's offices were raided last month as part of the police investigation into the singer's death.

The coroner's office has not published its findings regarding the singer's death.

Addiction fears

According to the affidavit, the LA chief coroner "had reviewed the preliminary toxicology results and his preliminary assessment of Jackson's cause of death was due to lethal levels of propofol".

The documents go on to say that Dr Murray told police he had been giving Jackson propofol as part of his treatment for insomnia.

But, he said he had been concerned Jackson was becoming addicted to the drug and had been trying to wean him off, using alternative drugs.

But, on the morning of the singer's death, Dr Murray is reported to have relented and given Jackson a lower dosage of propofol after a number of other drugs had not worked.

He left the star alone to make some telephone calls and when he returned Jackson was not breathing, the LA Times reports.

Dr Murray is known to have performed CPR on his patient while the paramedics were called, but Jackson was declared dead when he arrived at hospital.

Dr Conrad Murray speaking on 18 August: I told the truth

Bottles of propofol found in Jackson's house show it had been prescribed by several doctors, not just Conrad Murray, but he remains at the centre of the inquiry, our correspondent adds.

Earlier this month, Dr Murray - who was employed as Michael Jackson's personal physician for a series of concerts in London scheduled for July - posted a video message on YouTube to thank his supporters.

"I told the truth and I have faith the truth will prevail," he said in the short one-minute clip.



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