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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
Jackson bid to remove prosecutor
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is currently free on bail
Michael Jackson's lawyers have filed a motion to have the Santa Barbara County district attorney's office removed from the singer's child molestation case.

The reasons for the motion, which was filed on Monday, are being kept secret.

Lawyer Robert Sanger said sealing the file was necessary because the contents of the motion include exhibits and identities of witnesses.

Mr Jackson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to 10 child abuse charges. He is due to stand trial on 31 January 2005.

'Unusual'

Santa Maria Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville has kept much of the proceedings secret.

The motion was one of several filed under seal by Sanger.

Motions to remove a district attorney from a case often are based on claims of personal involvement and conflict of interest.

But criminal defence attorney Steve Cron said it would be "highly unusual" for a judge to take the whole district attorney's office off a case.




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