Michael Jackson faced prospective jurors this morning (31JAN05) in the first official day of his child-molestation trial.

Wearing white and shielded by an umbrella, the 46-year-old BAD singer waved to a large gathering of supporters as he walked into the courthouse in Santa Maria, California.

Superior Court judge Rodney Melville informed the prospective panellists they might have to serve for about six months, but that it was an important duty.

About 300 prospective jurors are to be screened for hardship today, and they'll also be expected to fill out questionnaires. Another 300 will be processed tomorrow (01FEB05), followed by 150 more on Wednesday (02FEB05). From that pool, the judge hopes to find 12 jurors and eight alternates, but the process could take a month or more.

Jackson is charged with molesting a teenage cancer patient and plying him with alcohol. Jackson vehemently denies the accusations.

31/01/2005 21:24