DA will take stand at Jackson hearing, not tape testimony

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[b]DA will take stand at Jackson hearing, not tape testimony[/b] 7/16/04 By DAWN HOBBS NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER Michael Jackson’s defense lawyers want Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon to take the stand in August to question him in open court, rather than videotape his testimony earlier. Last week in court, Mr. Jackson’s lawyers — led by Thomas Mesereau — announced they had subpoenaed Mr. Sneddon to testify in his own child molestation case against their client, along with a district attorney’s investigator and several sheriff’s detectives. However, Mr. Sneddon will be on vacation during the next scheduled hearing on July 27. So rather than videotape his testimony earlier, the defense will question the prosecutor during the Aug. 16 hearing, court documents released Thursday indicate. At issue is whether Mr. Sneddon knew that private investigator Bradley Miller was working for Mr. Jackson’s lawyer at the time, Mark Geragos, when he obtained an affidavit to raid Mr. Miller’s Beverly Hills office in November. In the meantime, media attorney Theodore Boutrous has requested that justices from the state Court of Appeal expedite review of his challenge to Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville’s practice of routinely sealing documents in the Jackson case, keeping even basic facts about the alleged crimes secret. “The trial court has principally justified these extraordinary procedures, and the resulting secrecy, based on Mr. Jackson’s fame and celebrity status and the intense public and media interest in this case,” Mr. Boutrous stated in his motion filed with the justices Thursday. “But these general concerns do not come close to defeating the public’s presumptive rights of access to judicial records and hearings.” :nav Source: http://news.newspress.com/topsports/071604jacksoncase.htm

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