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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 December, 2004, 13:34 GMT
Singer Jackson's ranch searched
Neverland
Police first searched Neverland last November
Police investigating child sex charges against pop star Michael Jackson have raided his Neverland ranch in the US.

Investigators spent more than eight hours searching the estate in the hills above Santa Barbara in California.

The raid came a year after the property was first searched and days before a deadline for prosecutors to share evidence with the defence team.

Mr Jackson, who denies 10 charges of child molestation and conspiracy, is due to go on trial early next year.

Investigators served a search warrant on Neverland at about 0900 (1700 GMT) on Friday "as part of an ongoing criminal investigation", sheriff spokesman Sergeant Chris Pappas said.

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson has denied all 10 child molestation charges
No further information was released. Lawyers on both sides are barred from commenting publicly.

Neverland, about 100 miles (160km) northwest of Los Angeles, was first searched in November 2003.

Mr Jackson has pleaded not guilty to four counts of lewd acts involving a minor, one count involving an attempted lewd act upon a child and four counts of administering alcohol.

He has also pleaded not guilty to one charge of conspiracy to abduct a child, which includes allegations of false imprisonment and extortion.

The 46-year-old star is free on $3m (1.5m) bail. Jury selection is due to begin on 31 January, but the trial proper may not get under way for months after that.


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