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Last Updated: Monday February 28 2005 19:31 GMT

Jackson in court for trial start

Michael Jackson outside court in the US

A trial to decide if Michael Jackson is guilty of mistreating a child has begun in Santa Maria, California.

The singer, 46, faces 10 charges of hurting a child and says he is not guilty of any of them.

The trial starts with opening speeches from the prosecution, who are trying to prove Jackson is guilty, and the defence who hope to show he is not.

But it's going to be a long wait until the jury make their decision, as the case could last as long as six months.

Photographers in California for Michael Jackson's trial
More than 1,500 journalists are in Santa Maria for the trial

The defence lawyers working for Jackson are expected to try and prove that Jackson has been set up by the family of the boy he is charged with hurting.

They are planning to bring lots of celebrities to the court to give evidence for the singer.

If he is found guilty Jackson could face up to 21 years in prison.