Jackson's doctor in the dock as trial resumes

 

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Michael Jackson looked strong and healthy two days before he died, during one of the final rehearsals for his comeback concerts, a promoter told his doctor's trial today.

Paul Gongaware, an executive for AEG Live, said Jackson appeared engaged and energetic during the session.



Prosecutors called Mr Gongaware to show the importance of Jackson's comeback concerts and in an apparent attempt to show that both the singer and his doctor Conrad Murray were deeply engaged in preparations for the show before Jackson died on June 25, 2009.



Gongaware also said that he saw Murray at one of Jackson's rehearsals after people affiliated with the planned concerts complained that the singer had been missing some of the sessions.



Prosecutors wrapped up their direct questioning of Mr Gongaware before defence lawyer Ed Chernoff briefly questioned the executive.



Under the cross-examination, Mr Gongaware acknowledged his company is being sued by Jackson's mother for negligent supervision of Murray when he worked with Jackson.



Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jackson's death.



Prosecutors allege he caused Jackson's death by giving him a lethal dose of the anaesthetic propofol and other sedatives without the proper lifesaving equipment or skills.



Another AEG employee, attorney Kathy Jorrie, told how she drafted a contract for Murray to work as Jackson's personal physician.



At one point in negotiations, Murray requested his contract be modified to allow him to hire someone else in case he was tired or unavailable while Jackson was performing in London.



"He wanted to make sure that there was somebody else available to be of assistance," Ms Jarrie said.



Prosecutors also planned to call one of Jackson's bodyguards and his personal assistant, who Murray frantically called after he found the singer unconscious.



The Los Angeles court has heard Murray delayed summoning emergency crews and lied to doctors and medics when he failed to reveal he had been giving Jackson the medications to try to help the entertainer sleep.



Murray's lawyer claimed Jackson gave himself a fatal dose of medication in a desperate attempt to get some sleep.



He said Murray had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol, but the entertainer kept requesting it on the day he died.



"Michael Jackson started begging," he said. "When Michael Jackson told Dr Murray, 'I have to sleep. They will cancel my performance,' he meant it."



He told jurors that Jackson swallowed enough of the sedative lorazepam to put six people to sleep before ingesting propofol. The combination, which Chernoff called a "perfect storm" of medications, killed Jackson so quickly that he did not even have chance to close his eyes.



The trial continues.



AP

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