Page last updated at 00:15 GMT, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 01:15 UK

Michael Jackson's doctor appears in court


Jackson fans waited outside the court building as his family arrived

Michael Jackson's relatives have attended a court appearance by the doctor accused of giving the singer a lethal dose of powerful anaesthetic.

Dr Conrad Murray, 57, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

During a brief procedural hearing in Los Angeles, Dr Murray's case was assigned to Judge Michael Pastor.

Judge Pastor adjourned the case until mid-June, when he is expected to rule on whether to revoke Dr Murray's medical licence pending the full trial.

Members of the Jackson family turned out in force for the largely procedural hearing, led by his parents Katherine and Joe. His siblings Janet, Randy and Jermaine were also present.

Dozens of journalists and fans also packed the downtown courthouse.

California's attorney general has asked the judge to suspend the cardiologist while he faces the charges.

Dr Conrad Murray appears in court in Los Angeles 5 April 2010.
Dr Murray faces up to four years in jail if convicted

Dr Murray's lawyers are fighting that move, saying he needs to practise medicine to pay for his defence.

"He is, without fear of overstatement, hanging on by a thread," they said in court documents.

Dr Murray has previously been ordered not to administer any anaesthetics as a condition of his $75,000 (£49,050) bail.

He is alleged to have administered a lethal dose of Propofol and other drugs, which resulted in the pop star's death on 25 June.

According to US reports, Dr Murray's legal team is to argue that Jackson accidentally killed himself by injecting himself with Propofol.

At the preliminary hearing, scheduled for 14 June, Judge Pastor will decide whether there is enough evidence to go forward with a jury trial.

If convicted, Dr Murray faces up to four years in jail.

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