LATEST: Michael Jackson has declared he personally "terminated" his two lead defence attorneys in his child molestation case, suggesting they had failed to give him their full attention.
The 45-year-old BAD singer replaced his high-profile lead attorneys MARK GERAGOS and Benjamin Brafman with veteran Los Angeles lawyer THOMAS MESEREAU, but says he's keeping two other members of his defence team, Steve Cochran and ROBERT SANGER.
He says in a statement posted on his website, "I have terminated the services of attorneys Mark Geragos, esquire, and Benjamin Brafman, esquire, effective immediately.
"Let me make it clear, I have not replaced my defence team. I have replaced the lead attorneys. And contrary to reports, this is a decision I have personally made."
While the case proceeds in Santa Barbara, California, Brafman is based in New York and Geragos has been busy in Northern California defending a man accused of murdering his wife.
Jackson continues, "It is imperative that I have the full attention of those who are representing me. My life is at stake. Therefore I must feel confident that my interests are of the highest priority."
Jackson, who was indicted last week (ends23APR04) by a Santa Barbara County grand jury, adds, "I am innocent of these false charges and will aggressively seek to clear my name. I feel very confident that when I am able to defend myself I will be exonerated by a jury of my peers."
In February (04), Mesereau abruptly resigned as attorney for actor ROBERT Blake in his Los Angeles murder case.26/04/2004 21:32