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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May, 2005, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Jackson lawyers rest defence case
Michael Jackson arriving in court on Wednesday
The defence portrayed Michael Jackson as a victim
The defence in the Michael Jackson trial has rested its case after hearing 50 defence witnesses over three weeks.

Defence lawyer Thomas Mesereau called comedian and actor Chris Tucker as the final witness, ending nearly four months of testimony.

Mr Jackson has denied molesting Gavin Arvizo when he was 13 and conspiring to hold the family against their will.

The prosecution has indicated it intends to recall a witness who claimed her son was abused by Mr Jackson.

It also wants a former Neverland ranch maid to take the stand again.

She previously testified she saw Mr Jackson molesting dancer Wade Robson when he was a boy.

Mr Robson was called by the defence and denied Mr Jackson had ever acted inappropriately towards him.

The trial now enters the rebuttal stage - which allows both sides to call more witnesses to clarify certain issues.

Jurors will then begin the process of deciding whether Mr Jackson should be convicted.

Tucker suspicious

Throughout their case, defence lawyers portrayed Mr Jackson as the victim of false charges that began when the boy's mother realised the singer was no longer going to finance her lavish lifestyle.

A series of defence witnesses said the mother made a career going after celebrities for money and defrauding other people.

A number of high-profile names mentioned by the defence at the beginning of the trial were spared a court appearance including Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross and basketball player Kobe Bryant.

Chris Tucker arriving in court on Wednesday
He [Gavin Arvizo] was really smart and he was cunning
Chris Tucker
Last witness

Rush Hour star Chris Tucker told the court on Wednesday that he found Gavin Arvizo to be unusually sophisticated and cunning for his age, after meeting the boy as he was battling cancer in 2001.

Mr Tucker said he grew suspicious of the family when they went to the set of a film he was shooting in Las Vegas and refused to leave.

He said he paid for their hotel and expenses but after several weeks they were still there.

In another incident at a Los Angeles comedy club where he had helped Gavin Arvizo raise funds, Mr Tucker described how he had approached the actor, saying not enough money had been raised.

"He was just real sad looking," said the actor, who gave him money.

"He was really smart and he was cunning, but at the time I always overlooked it," Mr Tucker said of the boy.

Prosecution case

The prosecution has alleged there was a plot to kidnap the Arvizos. They were forced to appear in a video dismissing child abuse claims made in the documentary, after being warned that their lives were at stake, it said.

The documentary showed the singer holding hands with 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo and admitting to sharing his bed with children.

The prosecution called more than 80 witnesses over two months as it tried to prove its case.

They included Gavin Arvizo, his mother and other witnesses who alleged further instances of child abuse.

Some, like Mr Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe, were of more help to the defence, portraying him as a victim exploited by his own aides.


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