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Jackson Team Wants $3M Bail Reduced

May 28, 2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Michael Jackson’s defense team wants his $3 million bail reduced, saying it is excessive and violates Santa Barbara County standards for bail on child molestation and conspiracy charges.

The prosecution objects, saying Jackson might flee the country.

The issue was expected to be discussed during a hearing scheduled Friday. Jackson was not expected to be in court.

``Three million dollars has no basis in logic, fact, or law, and the prosecution does not even begin to establish a basis for such bail,″ according to a defense filing made available Thursday.

In other motions, lawyers representing news organizations including The Associated Press were expected to argue that the entire grand jury indictment should be made public.

Media lawyers also seek access to hundreds of pages of grand jury transcripts. Prosecution and defense lawyers want them to remain sealed, saying their release might prejudice potential jurors.

Also, the defense wants access to about 400 items seized by prosecutors and to interview transcripts with dozens of witnesses. The motion, made public Thursday, asked the judge to intervene to make sure the defendants are allowed to fully examine the evidence.

The prosecution has said the items are still undergoing forensic examination and are not available.

The judge was expected to set a tentative trial date. He has already said he wants the trial to start this year, but defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. hinted in a court filing that will be difficult unless the prosecution starts complying with discovery orders quickly.

Jackson, 45, has pleaded not guilty to committing a lewd act upon a child, administering an intoxicating agent, alcohol, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.

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