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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 April, 2004, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Jackson lawyer 'has new evidence'
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson did not have to attend the pre-trial hearing.
Evidence has been uncovered that helps prove Michael Jackson's innocence on child abuse charges, the singer's lawyer told a pre-trial hearing.

Benjamin Brafman told Santa Barbara County Superior Court that 100 exhibits will help show the singer is innocent.

Mr Brafman said the evidence includes school and psychiatric reports from a legal case involving Jackson's accuser.

He wants it presented to a closed grand jury which is studying the allegations. The star denies all charges.

Mr Jackson is charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering intoxicating liquor to a child with the intent of committing a crime.

'Wealth of material'

He was not required to attend Friday's pre-trial hearing in Santa Monica, California.

The separate grand jury inquiry aims to determine whether Mr Jackson should be indicted.

If so, this would supersede the current criminal case and eliminate the need for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to put Mr Jackson on trial.

On Friday his lawyer said "a wealth of material" had been uncovered which should be presented to the grand jury.

"The material impacts demonstrably on the testimony of witnesses who already appeared [before the grand jury] and we would request that the witnesses come back," he said.

Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville issued an order to make some of the material available to prosecution and defence teams.

He also set an 30 April court session to determine a preliminary hearing date.


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