Pros. Dump 22,000 pages on Defense at Last Minute; Non-existent people on list

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[b]Michael Jackson’s Lawyers Ask for Delay of Trial[/b] 25 minutes ago Entertainment – Reuters LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Lawyers for pop star Michael Jackson (news) have “reluctantly” asked a judge to delay his trial on child molestation charges saying that prosecutors have made it impossible to prepare a defense in time. [b] Attorneys for Jackson said prosecutors have recently turned over 22,000 pages of discovery material that must be analyzed and supplied them with a witness list that includes people who don’t exist.[/b] [b]They also argued, in court papers submitted Dec. 10 and made public on Tuesday, that a raid on Jackson’s Neverland Valley Ranch this month shows that prosecutors were still investigating the 46-year-old entertainer. Lawyers for Jackson said they believed Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon was not prepared to go forward with a trial and may have conducted the search to force a delay. “The defense is hesitant to, in essence, give the district attorney what he wanted by requesting a continuance,” Jackson’s attorneys said in the court papers. “However, given the facts articulated below, it has become clear that a continuance is necessary to protect Mr. Jackson’s right to a fair trial.”[/b] Separately, Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville has ordered a member of Jackson’s defense team to appear in his courtroom next week to explain why he should not be held in contempt of court for remarks he made to a New York newspaper. Prosecutors asked that attorney Brian Oxman be held in contempt for speaking about the case to a reporter for the New York Post, which they claim is a violation of Melville’s gag order in the case. Melville has barred the parties from discussing the case in substance. Source:

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