Trial of Jackson's doctor to be televised

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The Independent Culture

Television cameras will be allowed to broadcast the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor on charges of involuntary manslaughter starting next month, a judge has ruled.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor also brought forward the state date for the trial, which is expected to last about six weeks, by four days to March 24.

Conrad Murray is accused of responsibility for the pop icon's death on June 25, 2009 by administering an overdose of the powerful sedative Propofol, with which Jackson was being treated to help him to sleep.

At a hearing Monday, the judge agreed to a broadcasters' request for TV cameras to be allowed into the courtroom, while specifying that they should not be too intrusive.

"I need a definite proposal as to what you want to do," Pastor told lawyers for the Radio Television News Association of Southern California, calling for the "absolute least intrusive placement" of cameras in court.

At six days of pre-trial hearings in January witnesses lined up to testify that Murray delayed calling 911, tried to conceal what drugs he had administered, and did not know how to carry out emergency resuscitation.

Murray acknowledged that he had used propofol to treat Jackson's chronic insomnia, but insisted that on the day of the 50-year-old singer's death he administered only a small amount of the drug that should not have been fatal.

His defense team has suggested that Jackson could have effectively killed himself on June 25, 2009, by administering an extra dose of propofol while Murray was out of the room.

He could face up to four years in jail and permanently lose his doctor's license if he is convicted.

Jackson's death shocked the entertainment world and triggered intense debate over the performer's health in the run-up to London concerts, known as the "This is It" tour.