Relatives of late rapper Notorious BIG have dropped two men from their wrongful death lawsuit, less than two weeks before the trial is set to begin.

The family had originally charged that corrupt police officers orchestrated the 1997 slaying of the 24-year-old rapper - real name CHRISTOPHER WALLACE - and that top LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT (LAPD) officials covered up their actions.

The hip-hop star's mother, VOLETTA, and other relatives sued the city three years ago, identifying an ex-LAPD officer named David A Mack as an alleged mastermind of the shooting.

But on Friday (10JUN05) the plaintiffs dropped Mack as a defendant, according to the LOS ANGELES TIMES.

Papers filed in the US District Court offer no explanation for the move. But the papers do indicate that in return for being dropped from the case, Mack agreed not to sue the family for malicious prosecution.

Attorneys for the Wallace family were also expected to file papers dropping a second defendant, AMIR MUHAMMAD. They had alleged that Muhammad, a former college classmate of Mack's, shot BIG dead at Mack's urging.

The city of Los Angeles is now the only remaining defendant in the case, which is scheduled to go to trial on 23 June (05).

14/06/2005 03:17