Questions Bashir would not answer on the stand – Daily Mail

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Jackson weeps as Bashir risks jail DAILY MAIL 07:46am 2nd March 2005 Emotional: MJ weeps as he comes face-to-face with Bashir Martin Bashir could be thrown in jail or fined heavily after refusing to answer a series of questions in Michael Jackson’s trial. The British TV journalist came face to face again with Jackson as the first witness in the child-abuse case against the singer. After Bashir took the stand, Jackson broke down in tears and continually glared at the former BBC and ITN newsman – whose documentary led to the star being charged. But Bashir clashed with Jackson’s high- powered attorney Thomas Mesereau in a series of exchanges. And on four occasions he said he would not answer direct questions put to him in the witness box – citing a California law that prevents journalists being asked about their sources or newsgathering. The questions were: Did you get Michael Jackson to sign two documents without a lawyer present? How many hours of footage did you omit from the documentary? Are you covering this case as a correspondent who is paid? Before this film was shown, did you watch the trial reel? Each time, the trial judge Rodney Melville asked Bashir if he wished to answer. Looking straight ahead, he solemnly replied: “No, your honour, I do not.” [i]’You called him the boss'[/i] When Mr Mesereau asked for Bashir to be held in contempt, Judge Melville said he would review the situation, adding: “It is a really ticklish area.” If found to be in contempt of court, Bashir’s testimony and the prosecution’s use of the documentary could be thrown out. The judge told Bashir he would review the questions asked and the objections to see if he is in contempt of court. A legal source has said that if found guilty, Bashir could be put in a county jail until he answers the questions. The judge told Bashir he did not have to answer a string of other questions from Mr Mesereau, ruling that the law protected him. They included: Did you tell him you were a friend of Princess Diana? You told him he was appreciated? You told him that when you looked at his relationship with children, it almost made you weep? You told him that you believed in his vision of an international children’s holiday? You described Neverland as a beautiful place encouraging us all to be little children again? You told him that you were going to arrange a meeting with Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations and would plan a trip to Africa to help children with Aids? You told him that you had great admiration for his visiting sick children in hospitals in England? You called him the boss didn’t you? [b]Dabbed away tears[/b] During Bashir’s documentary, called Living With Michael Jackson, the star held hands with a 13-year-old boy, Gavin Arvizo, who eventually accused him of molesting him. Jackson said he let children sleep in his bed. Screened in 2003, it eventually led to Jackson being charged. Jackson looked agitated and uncomfortable as Bashir entered the courtroom in Santa Maria, north of Los Angeles, with his lawyers and the two men sat just 20ft away from each other as the judge ordered the tape of the documentary to be shown. At the beginning of the screening, the singer’s famous track Smooth Criminal was played and Jackson rocked back and forth in his chair and tapped his fingers on the table. But he wept as a scene showed Arvizo putting his head on his shoulder. The singer wiped his nose with a tissue, and was seen dabbing away tears. He wept as the documentary showed him dangling his baby over a hotel balcony in Germany. The star appeared even more distressed when he and his children, their faces covered with masks, were seen going to a zoo. Jackson, 46, denies molesting the boy, plying him with alcohol and conspiring to kidnap him and his family. He faces a 20-year jail sentence if convicted. Earlier, Mr Mesereau said that investigators found no DNA traces of Jackson’s young accuser when they searched the pop star’s bedroom. Mr Mesereau also attacked the credibility of Arvizo’s mother, Janet, and depicted the boy, now 15, and his brother Star, now 13, as troublemakers while at Jackson’s Neverland ranch. Mr Mesereau denied that Jackson showed sexually explicit images and gave alcohol to Gavin and Star. The case continues. This story first appeared in the . For more great stories like this, buy the Daily Mail every day. Source:

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