[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 August, 2004, 07:18 GMT 08:18 UK
Michael Jackson in legal setback
Michael Jackson arrives at court, 16 August 2004
Michael Jackson denies the charges against him
Superstar Michael Jackson's lawyers have failed in their attempt to have all evidence seized in a raid on his ranch thrown out ahead of his trial.

Mr Jackson's lawyers argued that the evidence had been obtained improperly and was therefore inadmissible.

But a judge ruled that police had "probable cause" to believe Mr Jackson had committed a crime when they searched his Neverland ranch last year.

Mr Jackson has pleaded not guilty to 10 child abuse charges.

His trial is scheduled to start on 30 January.

While dismissing the blanket challenge by the Jackson team, Judge Rodney Melville said he would still allow the lawyers to argue against individual items of evidence taken away by police.

Loyal support

The judge gave the defence until Thursday to come up with a list of any items seized last November that they think should be excluded from evidence.

The evidence in question has not been made public.

The legal setback for Mr Jackson - who is free on $3m (1.6m) bail - came a day after he appeared in court, accompanied by his parents and famous siblings, sisters LaToya and Janet, and brothers Jermaine and Tito.

Fans screamed as the 45-year-old star, dressed in a white suit, arrived by double-decker bus at the Santa Maria court in California.

About 150 fans gathered behind crash barriers to scream their support for the singer.

The pre-trial hearing could last a week, but Mr Jackson was only expected to attend the first day.

The crowd was much smaller than during his previous appearances, when thousands of fans and journalists turned up, probably resulting from Mr Jackson's last-minute decision to attend the pre-trial hearing.




Michael Jackson on trial

Michael Jackson Jackson show
How the star's style has changed during lengthy trial

LATEST NEWS

REPORTERS' LOGS
 

AT A GLANCE
 

PROFILES
 

CASE TIMELINE

VIDEO AND AUDIO


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific