Michael Jackson's estate manager at his NEVERLAND RANCH home has testified that investigators ignored warrant restrictions when they raided the estate last November (03).

JOSEPH MARCUS took to the stand in court in Santa Maria, California, last Friday (20AUG04) as legal officials attempted to figure out whether district attorney investigators had acted illegally during their surprise raid on Neverland.

Marcus explained that sheriff's deputies looking for evidence in Jackson's child molestation case searched areas at Neverland that were not specified in a warrant.

Marcus admitted he initially co-operated with police, but soon grew suspicious when they insisted on searching his boss' office.

He told the court, "I worked with them all day. I co-operated and opened the door (to the office), but then they decided they wanted to do a search. I objected because it was not in the scope of the search warrant."

He recalled a deputy telling him that he would have the search warrant amended, but Marcus said that was not done, and the search went ahead. He added that he was also pressured to answer questions by authorities.

He continued, "I initially refused to and said I wasn't really interested. I said, 'Do I have to answer questions?' and they said, 'No, if you have nothing to hide.' I said there's nothing to hide here. It is what it is."

Friday's (20AUG04) testimony came at a pretrial hearing in which defence attorneys are trying to limit the evidence prosecutors can produce at the entertainer's January (05) trial. The pretrial hearing will continue today (23AUG04).

23/08/2004 08:26