LATEST: The British journalist who exposed Michael Jackson's unusual lifestyle in his TV special has asked a judge to block a request by prosecutors for him to stand at the pop superstar's child molestation trial.

Prosecutors insist Martin Bashir is a "necessary material witness" to support allegations the THRILLER singer sexually abused teenage cancer sufferer GAVIN ARVIZO at his Neverland Ranch home in Santa Barbara, California.

But Bashir, who now works for America's ABC NEWS, filed a motion yesterday (18JAN05) arguing he is protected by California's shield law which exempts journalists from testifying about what they observe during the course of story reporting.

He added ABC, who broadcast the documentary in America, would verify any part of it which is used in court - ABC have announced they too will fight the prosecutor's request.

Bashir's motion will be considered at a hearing on 28 January (05) - three days before Jackson's trial is due to start.

19/01/2005 17:02