This can be moved if need be.
Journalist who made documentary subpoenaed
By Quintin Cushner/Staff Writer
Prosecutors have subpoenaed the journalist whose documentary led to charges that Michael Jackson was having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy.
Television reporter Martin Bashir has been ordered to appear March 1 at Superior Court in Santa Maria to answer questions about his controversial program "Living with Michael Jackson."
"The witness is material on the issue of the production, editing and displaying of the video documentary," Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville wrote in certifying the prosecution's subpoena.
Bashir produced the program for Granada TV, but is currently employed by ABC News. He was served with the subpoena Jan. 4 in New York City by staff from the New York County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Court documents released Tuesday did not reveal if the journalist has agreed to appear. If he complies with the subpoena, the prosecution will pay him the standard $20 a day plus expenses for his appearance as a witness.
Bashir's documentary aired in England on Feb. 3, 2003 and three days later in the United States. The program showed Jackson holding hands with the boy and included the singer's acknowledgment that he shared a bed with children.
After Bashir's documentary aired, a public backlash against the singer ensued. Jackson and his representatives tried to control the negative publicity by gathering positive statements from the accuser and his family as part of a "rebuttal video."
Prosecutors allege that as Jackson worked to secure the testimonials, he kept the accuser and his family at his 2,700-acre Neverland Valley Ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley against the will of the accuser's mother. Jackson also allegedly molested the boy and gave him alcohol during this time.
Jackson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of engaging in lewd acts with the unnamed boy and four counts of administering alcohol to help him with the alleged molestations. He also has pleaded not guilty to a conspiracy charge involving child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion, and a count of attempted child molestation.
The defense vehemently denies the accusations, and has argued that the accuser and his family were treated well by Jackson.
Jackson is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 31.
A hearing has been scheduled for today to determine if past uncharged allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer are admissible at trial.
* Staff writer Quintin Cushner can be reached at 739-2217 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan. 12, 2005
http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles ... c/8470.txt
How dumb. So exactly what's Bashir gonna say? What CAN he say?