Michael Jackson cleared of abuse

Singer Michael Jackson has been found innocent on all 10 charges of child abuse at the end of his trial.

The singer strenuously denied the charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy. There were cheers from his fans outside the court as the verdicts were read.

He was also cleared of giving the child alcohol and conspiring to kidnap him and his family.

The star is now free but did not speak to the public as he left court in Santa Maria, California.

The BBC’s Daniella Relph in Santa Maria said Jackson had been seen wiping his eyes in court as the verdicts were read.
Of the jury’s decision, she said: “They did not believe [accuser] Gavin Arvizo and did not trust his family.”

She said there was “complete hysteria” outside court with the star’s music pumping out.

Judge Rodney Melville told the singer before he left: “Bail has been exonerated, you are free to go.”

Jackson was in court with family members including father Joe, mother Katherine and sisters LaToya and Janet.

His trial began in February and the jury retired on 3 June. More than 100 witnesses took the stand, including Gavin Arvizo and his mother Janet.

The trial was sparked after British journalist Martin Bashir made a documentary in which Jackson admitted sharing his bed with children.

Bashir gave evidence but refused to answer many of the questions put to him.

Jackson’s former wife Debbie Rowe spoke in favour of the pop star, but called his entourage “opportunistic vultures”.

And actor Macaulay Culkin denied being abused by Jackson when he was a child star. But Mr Jackson did not take the witness stand himself.

Judge Melville, who presided over the trial, allowed past allegations against Jackson to be aired in court.

Não me vou pôr aqui com meias palavras, a acreditar numa justiça que é cega mas no sentido errado. Acompanhei o caso através dos media do outro lado do atlântico e é mais do que óbvio que esta resolução é absurda. Aliás, quase tão absurda como o facto de os juris do julgamento terem (pela primeira vez) passado um fim de semana em casa enquanto meditavam sobre o assunto…

E não sei bem porquê, mas acho que mais mês menos mês vamos ver algo comparavelmente ridículo aqui bem perto… ali para as bandas de Lisboa… digo eu que não percebo nada de justiça.

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