Sneddon abusing his power/breaking gag order?

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Jackson prosecutor lashes out at media By ROBERT MATAS Wednesday, July 21, 2004 – Page A8 VANCOUVER — Santa Barbara county prosecutor Tom Sneddon Jr. has been pilloried in the media for his handling of criminal charges against global entertainment icon Michael Jackson. He has felt the barbs but bitten his tongue, only occasionally breaking his silence. But on a lazy summer morning in another country 2,000 kilometres away from home, Mr. Sneddon let loose with a tirade against the media and against lawyers who have criticized him. Sounding as if he were licking his wounds, he said yesterday at the National District Attorneys Association summer conference in Vancouver that he has not responded to incorrect information or misinformed comment in order to ensure a fair trial. [b]Offering advice to prosecutors on handling high-profile cases, he cautioned against assuming the media would be fair. “They go with what they have to go with to beat the competition,” he said. “It’s a frenzy, driven by competition. Not a lot of rules apply.” He suggested prosecutors (called district attorneys in the United States) hire public-relations firms if they are involved in high-profile cases. Mr. Sneddon also strongly advised them to obtain court orders prohibiting those involved in the case from speaking publicly. “We sent letters to some people saying we intended to call them as witnesses in order to keep them off TV,” he frankly admitted.[/b] Mr. Sneddon has been the district attorney in Santa Barbara county since 1982. A decade ago, he spent more than a year investigating lurid allegations of sexual molestation against Mr. Jackson after a youngster claimed Mr. Jackson had sex with him several times during a five-month relationship. The case ended abruptly in 1994 after Mr. Jackson reportedly reached a $15.3-million (U.S.) settlement with the boy’s parents. After the investigation was suspended, Mr. Jackson wrote a song apparently about Mr. Sneddon. The lyrics for D.S. on Mr. Jackson’s HIStory album say “Dom Sheldon” is a cold man out to get him dead or alive. “He out shock in every single way. He’ll stop at nothing just to get his political say.” Sheldon has been widely described as a pseudonym for Mr. Sneddon. Some say it sounds as if Mr. Jackson actually says “Sneddon” in the song. :nav Source:

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