Lack of witnesses in case against Jackson

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The Independent US

A grand jury convened last year to consider allegations of sexual abuse of children against Michael Jackson did not hear from any witnesses who claimed to have seen the singer acting inappropriately, it was reported last night.

A grand jury convened last year to consider allegations of sexual abuse of children against Michael Jackson did not hear from any witnesses who claimed to have seen the singer acting inappropriately, it was reported last night.

A website that specialises in obtaining court and other legal documents said that, apart from the teenage accuser and his brother, no witnesses testified that Mr Jackson acted in a suspicious way towards children.

The website, thesmokinggun.com, suggested this would be seized on by Jackson's defence. Since some of the 41 witnesses examined by the grand jury were close to the performer, including his bodyguard, this lack of independent corroboration of the boys' molestation claims could be a weakness in the prosecution case.

The site also reports that, in addition to the testimony heard by the grand jury, surveillance cameras and secret recordings presented as evidence could support suggestions that the singer and his cohorts conspired to threaten the accuser and his family.

Mr Jackson, who faces a 10-count indictment relating to the alleged molestation of a 13-year-old boy, has been discharged from a hospital after treatment for flu-like symptoms that delayed jury selection at his trial. He was taken to the hospital while on the way to court earlier in the week after vomiting in his car.

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