antiTainment NEWS: Will Secret Grand Jury Tactics Help Michael Jackson’s Defense

04-24-04 Keavin
Michael Jackson’s defense team may use the secrecy employed by the prosecutors with the grand jury to challenge child molestation indictment. Jackson’s lead defense attorney Mark Geragos is expected to argue that the grand jury was tainted by a cloak-and-dagger approach that intimidated witnesses and the grand jurors. 

Geragos is forbidden to comment on the case to the press because of a gag order but last week he tipped his hat during a hearing before Superior Court Judge Clifford Anderson, when he blasted the prosecutions handling of the grand jury. "If you believe what is reported, we've got people covered up, wrapped in blankets, put into vans driven around like they're Osama bin Laden's lieutenants and put into a training facility, then admonished in the procedure and then spirited out into the afternoon sun," Geragos told the judge in his Santa Barbara courtroom. 

Some of the “cloak-and-dagger” tactics reportedly employed by the D.A.’s office included transporting grand jurors to secret locations in buses with blacked-out windows, hiding witnesses and trying to block press access to witnesses and jurors by various means including blocking sidewalk access and even reportedly asking one photographer to delete shots from his digital camera that captured people entering the building where the grand jury was meeting. 

Jackson was indicted last Wednesday but it will likely not be officially announced until April 30th, when it is believed that Jackson will be arraigned. He is scheduled to appear at a pretrial hearing in a Santa Maria court on that date. 

The Jackson camp seems confident that they will ultimately win the case. Although they have not confirmed the indictment was handed down, his publicist and defense team issued a statement on Wednesday that proclaimed, "Mr. Jackson and his attorneys are confident that after a trial on these charges Mr. Jackson will be fully exonerated and that the allegations contained in the indictment will be shown to be patently false." .


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