herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Jacko 'would have fled US if found guilty'

MICHAEL JACKSON'S brother Jermaine has revealed a plan to secretly fly his sibling to Bahrain if he was found guilty of child molestation charges, it was reported.

The 56-year-old said a private jet financed by a friend was on standby to whisk the pop star to the Persian Gulf state, which does not have an extradition treaty with the US, if Michael had been convicted at the end of his 2005 court case.

Jermaine said: "If they were going to sit and crucify my brother for something that he didn't do, America deserves us not to come back here.

"At the end of the day, this is supposed to be the land of the brave, home of the free, democracy, freedom of speech.

"Why should he go to jail for something he didn't do?"

Jermaine, a former Jackson 5 member, said his younger brother was not aware of the escape plot but would have agreed to flee America "in a heartbeat" because he would not have survived in jail.

The global star, who died in June 2009, was accused of molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo, conspiring to kidnap him and his family and giving him alcohol, but was found not guilty of all charges.

Meanwhile, the first phase of jury selection in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor has concluded with 145 jurors cleared for further questioning.

Among the 113 questions they answered were whether they ever considered themselves fans of Jackson or his family and whether they own any books or magazines about him.

Dr Conrad Murray, a Houston cardiologist, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter over Jackson's death from an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.

hnews@herald.ie

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