Troubled singer Michael Jackson's father has hired another lawyer to represent "family interests" in the THRILLER star's child abuse trial.

Joe Jackson has asked American TV legal analyst DEBRA OPRI - who has also represented singer JAMES BROWN - to help out his 45-year-old son's defence team.

Opri says, "I am a person who believes in justice and I believe Michael Jackson is innocent. I don't believe that he has the capacity to formulate a criminal intent.

"Joseph Jackson loves his son and wants to be kept updated on everything."

Although Michael has pleaded not guilty to 10 child molestation charges, including a charge of conspiracy to abduct a child, he is hoping to reduce his $3 million (GBP1.7 million) bail payment.

But the plea is being opposed by prosecutors, who fear he may be planning to flee the country.

The motion is to be argued at a hearing on Friday (28MAY04).

25/05/2004 17:28