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THE COURAGE OF TRUTH vs. THE FEAR OF TOM SNEDDON

August 20, 2012

It is good that Michael Jackson’s supporters agree over the need to have Tom Sneddon answer for his crimes against Jackson and are more or less in favor of William Wagener’s affidavit pursuing this goal.  But I see some fans nevertheless shaking with fear that if Sneddon is found guilty of “fraud on the court” something might happen to Michael’s not-guilty verdict.

Well, two lawyers have already told us that nothing will happen to Michael’s not-guilty verdict. The verdict can never been overturned as a person cannot be tried twice on the same charges –  guilty or not guilty – and nothing happens to the verdict once the jury reaches it in a criminal trial.

However despite all these assurances some disquieting rumors are circulating that in case Sneddon’s fraud on the court is brought out into the open the verdict may become void. All this talk as so serious a matter that I decided to single it out  into a separate post, shifting there some of my earlier arguments and comments.

I am no legal expert and do not aspire to know the whole truth, so what you’ll see here is a reference to legal sources and plain common sense which, though being only common sense, is sometimes helpful in beating the fear someone might still have.

1. COMMON SENSE vs. ABSURDITY

It all started with a text explaining what action is taken in case court officers commit fraud upon the court: http://www.ballew.com/bob/htm/fotc.htm  One of MJ fans quoted the text and commented on it as follows (I presume that some others may be of the same opinion, so the comment is provided here as an example only) :

“Please read more carefully. If fraud upon a court is committed, then any resulting judgements/verdicts become void. Such a motion is not the same as a verdict being overturned. So again, YES, going after Tom Sneddon for fraud upon a court would come at the price of Michael’s vindication. The not guilty verdicts would be voided. Voided verdicts do not lead to Michael being retried”.

The way it started. Were the handcuffs  really that necessary?

The link to this site was initially given by Mary Brookins of the Cadeflaw team who is an ardent supporter of William Wagener’s affidavit against Sneddon. She consulted two lawyers about the possible ramifications for Michael Jackson of finding Sneddon guilty of fraud upon the court, and both lawyers replied that in no way Michael’s not guilty verdict could be overturned – it will stand even if the prosecutor is found guilty of fraud upon the court.

However the source Mary herself is providing does not speak of overturning the verdict but says that the verdict will become void:

  • “It is axiomatic that fraud vitiates everything”.
  • “Fraud upon the court” makes void the orders and judgments of that court”.
  • “Under Illinois and Federal law, when any officer of the court has committed “fraud upon the court”, the orders and judgment of that court are void, of no legal force or effect.

Though the lawyers give a definitive answer that Michael’s not-guilty verdict will never change I still decided to look for details of this void business to see what’s what.

The idea behind it is of course the need to immediately void the guilty verdict which was returned by the jury on the basis of a fraud committed by the Prosecutor. If the prosecutor led the jury to believe his fraudulent evidence and they reached a guilty verdict on the basis of it, but then the fraud was found out, the verdict immediately becomes void because it was based on false facts and not true evidence.

The source mentioned above explains that the verdict arising from a fraud is not a decision at all as it is not final. The ‘finality’ point is very important because this is what makes the verdict a verdict – without finality there is no verdict. The non-final verdict can be overturned while the final one cannot, at least in a criminal court (in the civil one it can, see the previous post for details)

The document says:

” The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals stated “a decision produced by fraud upon the court is not in essence a decision at all, and never becomes final.”

Let me repeat – the decision never becomes final if it was produced by fraud upon the court. However if the decision was not produced by fraud upon the court, it means that the verdict was not affected by it and therefore stands.

The common sense says – if the fraud worked, the resulting decision will be voided, but if the fraud did not work the decision will stand because it was taken despite the fraud and was not tainted by it.

The way it went on

The latter was exactly Michael Jackson’s case. Even though the Prosecutors were telling fairy tales about him the jury managed to look through them and reached their verdict disregarding these lies.

Tom Sneddon and others in the prosecution team alleged that the boy’s fingerprints on the adult magazine were found because Michael had shown him this magazine, but the defense found out that firstly, the Prosecutor obtained those fingerprints by fraud (by letting the accuser handle the magazine without gloves in full view of the Grand jury) and secondly, the Prosecutor spoke of the magazine which would be published several months after the last time the boy saw Michael Jackson at all.

No wonder the jury did not believe the lie and took their decision on the basis of the defense arguments. And if the truth won even despite the prosecutor’s fraudulent methods, disclosing them afterwards cannot overturn the verdict but will only add to it more value and weight. Michael was acquitted irrespective of the prosecutor’s dirty tricks – and this makes Michael Jackson’s Not guilty verdict not only stand, but stand stronger than ever before, because he was found innocent even in the circumstances of malicious  prosecution.

If he had not been acquitted, the situation would have been different – the fraud upon the court could have given the defense a reason to declare the case a mistrial and the verdict not final:

Mistrial” should be granted . . . as a result of some occurrence upon the trial of such a character that it is apparent to the court that because of it the defendant cannot have a fair trial and the whole proceedings are vitiated. The defendant must prove to the trial court that the remarks made . . . were so prejudicial that the defendant was deprived of the opportunity for a fair trial and the entire proceedings were tainted.http://www.scribd.com/doc/29601708/State-Fraud-Upon-the-Court

So if the prosecutor’s fraud produces a wrong jury decision it is then that their decision becomes void. Voiding is the first step before reversing the verdict:

Under Federal law which is applicable to all states, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that if a court is “without authority, its judgments and orders are regarded as nullities. They are not voidable, but simply void … even prior to a reversal in opposition to them. They constitute no justification; and all persons concerned in executing such judgments or sentences, are considered, in law, as trespassers. http://prosechicago.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/massive-federal-memorandum-of-law-proving-il-attorney-general-lisa-madigan-judges-lack-immunity-liable-for-malicious-suit/

In case the jury decision is not made on the basis of the prosecutor’s fraud, there is no need to seek reversal in opposition to such a decision. The law stands on the guard of only those to whom injustice was done due to a fraud. And if the verdict was just and does not need to be reversed it will not, while the court officer responsible for the fraud will still answer for what he did.

Such a conclusion is based on simple common sense which lays the basis for all laws.

The law does not allow for absurdities. If the not-guilty verdict automatically became void due to any fraud committed in court the trial would lose the point of it – the prosecution and the defense would go for frauds intentionally in the hope that all unwelcome verdicts become void.

2. MICHAEL’S CASE MAY BE UNIQUE

All the precedents mentioned by the site which started all this controversy deal with cases when as a result of fraud upon the court the defendant was found guilty of something he did not do.

It is only natural that the innocent person convicted due to the prosecution’s fraud upon the court, will be vehement in seeking voidance and reversal of the verdict – no one wants to go to jail for nothing. In these cases the innocent defendant seeks justice for himself and hopes that the wrong verdict will become void.

There might also be cases when even though the prosecution committed fraud upon the court the defendant may indeed be at fault. Then it would be in the interests of the justice system (even the prosecution) to retry this person – to start the legal process afresh and get to the bottom of it at the second try.  In this case the justice system itself will seek to nullify the verdict and retry the defendant, because they still want to convict him for the crime committed, only with “cleaner hands” this time.

The way it ended

However both of these cases have nothing to do with Michael Jackson. He was found not guilty on all counts, so in theory had nothing to complain about. Despite the Prosecution’s fraudulent tricks (which were many) he won a crashing victory over Sneddon and his team, and was acquitted on everything they charged him with.

It was a clean and overwhelming victory won despite the dirty prosecution methods Michael Jackson had to face during that trial. I’ve read that Thomas Mesereau wanted to continue with a case against Sneddon and hold him accountable for malicious prosecution (will try to find the article where I read about it), but evidently due to Michael’s frail condition after the trial the case was not pursued further.

The situation when the defendant is acquitted despite the fraud on the court by the Prosecutors, but is still not satisfied with the outcome is evidently such a rarity in legal practice that after looking through hundreds of pages on the net I still could not find a single similar case.

It seems that once a not guilty verdict is reached people are so happy with it that no one wants to ask for more justice for themselves. The acquitted person is satisfied that the fraud did not work and the jury did not believe it, and being sick and tired of the trial torture simply stays away from further litigation.

So it is quite possible that there are simply no precedents for an action initiated now by William Wagener and we might indeed be facing a unique situation here – I mean the case when the acquitted person went as far as hold the prosecutor accountable for the fraud which did not work. And this is probably why the justice system is unable to give us a ready answer on this “void” issue – there might simply be no similar case to refer us to.

Another possibility is that someone could have made a try but was given an answer: “Why don’t you shut up? Be happy that you were not convicted. If you persist in your demands we will find something else to charge you with”. I don’t know whether this line of reasoning is possible in the US, but in the place I live in it seems to be a rather common occurrence.

So in the absence of real-life precedents all we can do is theorize on the matter of what will happen if we go after Sneddon.

3. PERSONAL OPINION

To me it is obvious that it would be totally ridiculous to think that an acquitted person will be punished for the desire to seek further justice for himself by having his own not guilty verdict voided.

All this void business concerns guilty verdicts only where the prosecutors’ fraud brought about the need to retry the case of those who were  unjustly convicted. But why should it be applied to a case where a not guilty verdict was reached despite the fraud?  The fraud  aggravated the defendant’s case during the trial, but nevertheless did not help the prosecution to reach the effect they so desired and therefore had no effect on the verdict whatsoever!

The prosecution committed fraud upon the court, it didn’t work (thank God), the jury still acquitted the defendant of all charges, so why should the innocent defendant pay for the prosecution’s misconduct?

And why this talk of voiding the verdict at all? Because we have only guilty verdicts to discuss? But all guilty verdicts arising from the fraud on the court seek voidance as their primary goal!  What makes us think that the decision to void should necessarily be taken in respect of non-guilty verdicts too? There might be simply no precedent of a case like Michael’s, however isn’t it possible to set a new precedent in the absence of the earlier ones?

Voiding the not-guilty verdict when the acquitted defendant asks for further justice for himself looks like a plain mockery which no justice system can afford if it wants to be called a justice system at all. And we were also guaranteed by two legal experts that a not guilty verdict stands in all cases due to the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution and that Double jeopardy business under which no one can be tried twice on the same grounds.

However since we have no precedent on how the legal system will react to a move to hold the prosecutor accountable for his fraud, the question is – can we have guarantees against any unpleasant surprises here?

Though in the circumstances voiding a not guilty verdict would be a sheer, total and infinite absurdity my honest laywoman’s reply to that would be No, it seems that we have no guarantees against it.

However if another question were asked: “Is the actionagainst Sneddon worth taking despite some risk?” I would say an emphatic YES, it is still worth going after Sneddon even despite the unknown future we are facing.

4. WHY WE NEED TO DO IT

The Neverland raid

Sneddon’s prosecution of Michael Jackson was so malicious and lasted for so long that the proper name for it would be Obsessive Lifelong Persecution of Michael Jackson. Sneddon tampered with the evidence, fabricated fingerprints, broke the client-attorney privilege and then lied that he “didn’t know”, leaked numerous confidential documents to prejudice the jury and public against Michael, and probably even induced Janet Arvizo to slander Jackson as Sneddon left his card under her door at a time when she was not even making any allegations.

He smeared Michael’s name non-stop in the press and tortured him to a degree when the humble and amiable Michael was forced to write a furious song about his harasser to get the rage consuming him off his chest.  With the help of his special friends like Diane Dimond and Maureen Orth Sneddon formed the previously unheard-of harassment publicity style by leaking confidential, unproven and unchallenged information to the media, which in its turn took this opportunity to further crucify Michael.

And I am not even saying that Sneddon slandered Michael all over by saying to the left and to the right that the photos of Michael’s genitalia matched the first accuser’s description – which has been proven here to be a complete and outrageous LIE refuted even by Reuters and USA today who reported the next day after the settlement with Chandlers that there was no match.

The Neverland raid

So it was largely due to Sneddon’s effort that Michael lost the ability to work, sleep, function as a normal human being and in the long run even live….

Sneddon’s obsession with Michael was so crazy and the vendetta so long, that it would be a complete crime to close our eyes at what he did to him – even if we face the risk that the legal system which produces personalities like Sneddon will not be adequate in its reply to our action.

Even despite our fears we still need to do it.

The risk is minimal but the stakes are high. The highest of it is making the public finally aware of the injustice Michael was subjected to and realizing that this was so innocent a man that even the fraudulent methods of prosecuting him were not able to put a single stain on his behavior.

And this was the real reason why he was acquitted on all counts despite the whole closet of the so-called ‘evidence’ collected by Tom Sneddon.

5. LEGAL OPINION: IT IS WORTH TAKING A STAB AT IT

Among many instances of putting himself above the law Tom Sneddon shamed his profession by breaking the client-attorney privilege by raiding the office of the private investigator working for Jackson’s then attorney. This crime is equivalent to breaking into the office of a paralegal working for the defense attorney, grabbing everything there is to grab there and getting away with all of it at that.

Jonna M. Spilbor, a Findlaw columnist, is a frequent commentator on TV news networks. In the courtroom, she has handled hundreds of cases as a criminal defense attorney, and also served in the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division, and the Office of the US Attorney in the Drug Task Force and Appellate units.

The Findlaw analyst Jonna Spilbor discussed it in detail in her 2004 article with a tale-telling headline “Why the DA’s search of Michael Jackson’s Private Investigator’s office was unlawful”.

At the time of writing the article she didn’t know that as a result of that raid Sneddon obtained the evidence which allowed him to change the dates in his charges against Jackson. But even without knowing it she still assesses Sneddon’s actions as so grave an offense that a mere suppression of this wrongly obtained evidence will not be enough sanction against him (so we can imagine how much graver an offense the fabricated fingerprints can be!).

However even Jonna Spilbor admits that the justice system is somewhat lacking tools to hold the prosecution accountable even for a grave misconduct like that. I don’t know what sactions we can count on now, at the post-trial stage, but during the trial there were three possible ways of seeking sanctions against Sneddon:

1) imposing fines, though Spilbor says it is not an option for a serious offense like the one committed by Sneddon

2) recusing the individual Prosecutor or the entire District Attorney office (!). The dictionary explains recusing as “disqualifying or seeking to disqualify from participation in a decision on grounds such as prejudice or personal involvement”. Jonna Spilbora admits that this remedy is rarely used.

3) dismissal of the charges. This is the most serious sanction the law allows for in cases of grave prosecutorial misconduct. This sanction must be rarely used too as there is always a danger that someone really guilty will avoid justice this way.

But Michael was completely innocent and the eventual not guilty verdict proved it. So looking back at the past, if the judge had applied this sanction and Michael had been released then and there it would have been the only correct thing to do.

In fact Michael’s defense tried to disqualify the individual Tom Sneddon and the whole D.A. office then but it didn’t help:

October 6, 2004

Lawyers File Motion To Remove Sneddon From Case

On Monday, Michael Jackson’s lawyers filed a motion to remove the Santa BarbaraCounty district attorney’s office from the child molestation case.

The motion was one of several filed under seal by attorney Robert Sanger. He said sealing the motion was necessary because “the content of the motion includes reference to details in under-seal material including discovery materials, grand jury transcripts, investigative reports, exhibits and identities of witnesses.”

The reasons for the motion were kept secret. However, Michael’s lawyers have said in the past that DA Tom Sneddon had a personal vendetta against the entertainer after failing to get charges filed against him in a 1993 allegation.

Motions to remove a DA from a case often are based on claims of personal involvement and conflict of interest. According to criminal defense attorney Steve Cron lawyers often claim in such motions that the chief prosecutor is so personally embroiled in the case that he can’t make fair and dispassionate decisions:

“The odds of being successful are very slim. It would be highly unusual for a judge to take the whole district attorney’s office off a case.”

Loyola University Law Professor Laurie Levenson said that if the motion was granted and upheld on appeal, the state attorney general’s office would have to take over the prosecution:

This was a natural motion to file. Even if the chances of success are not great, it’s worth taking a stab at it.”

Source: AP / MJFC http://www.mjfanclub.net/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=181:2004-october&catid=167:2004&Itemid=75

Fans ask supervisors to hire a special prosecutor to investigate Sneddon

Let us remember these words of wisdom – even if the chances of success are not great, it’s worth taking a stab at it! 

These are  exactly the words we very much need now to take joint action against Sneddon.

Read Jonna Spilbor’s arguments in order to gain some more courage and see that we are right in trying to finally hold Sneddon accountable for his grave misconduct:

Why the DA’s search of Michael Jackson’s PI’s office was unlawful

Jonna M. Spilbor, FindLaw Columnist
Special to CNN.com
Monday, July 26, 2004 Posted: 11:43 AM EDT (1543 GMT)

(Findlaw) — Tom Sneddon, Santa Barbara’s top prosecutor, has ended up a witness in a case which he himself is litigating. In what’s being touted as “an unusual move,” the judge in the Michael Jackson case has ordered Sneddon to testify at an upcoming hearing slated for next month.

In November 2003 — just hours before Michael Jackson was arrested on charges of committing lewd acts upon a child — sheriff’s deputies raided the Beverly Hills offices of private investigator Bradley Miller. Miller was working closely with Jackson’s then-attorney Mark Geragos on the Jackson case.

The subject of the hearing centers around whether Sneddon — who authorized the search warrant application, as well as the subsequent search, and reportedly conducted his own personal surveillance on Miller’s office building a couple of weeks prior — knew that Miller had been hired to assist in Jackson’s defense. Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville has explained that the court is “very concerned about the factual issue, whether or not the district attorney…knew that Mr. Miller had been retained by Geragos.”

If Sneddon did know, then why were obvious attorney-client privilege issues ignored? After all, Sneddon was authorizing a search of an employee of the defendant’s attorney. Imagine if he’d tried, instead, to ransack the office of one of Geragos’ paralegals! The illegality would be even plainer.

In this column, I will discuss why, exactly, the search of the private investigator’s premises was unlawful, and what the court should do about it.

California law on attorney-client privilege

The attorney-client privilege preserves the confidentiality of communications between an attorney and his client. Its purpose is to encourage the honest, unfettered exchange of information between attorney and client during the course of legal representation.

In California, Evidence Code sections 950-954 define the attorney-client privilege broadly. Under California law, the privilege encompasses virtually any information — whether oral, written, photographic or otherwise — conveyed by a client to his attorney during the course of their professional relationship.

In addition, Evidence Code section 954 makes clear that the privilege applies not only to lawyers but to those third parties “who are present to further the interest of the client in the consultation, or to accomplish the purpose for which the lawyer is consulted.” These third parties are best thought of as “necessary agents” — the persons the attorney needs to consult with to do his job.

Typically, such agents include experts, paralegals, secretaries, and, as in this case, private investigators retained by a party’s counsel. Thus, once it has been established that the investigator was retained by legal counsel to represent a suspect, the investigator cannot be forced to reveal the product of his investigation.

The law in this regard is quite clear. So what was Sneddon thinking when he authorized the warrant application relating to Bradley Miller’s offices?

The prosecution’s claim of ignorance

Number of signatures in support of the petition as per August 20, 2012. NO TIME TO HESITATE – SIGN IT!

Thus far, the prosecution is claiming simple ignorance: Sneddon says he did not know of Miller’s relationship to Jackson’s defense camp.

But that seems highly improbable at best. After all, consider what the prosecution did know at the time — both specifically about Geragos, Jackson and Miller, and more generally about the case.

First, let’s look at the specific knowledge the prosecution had: The prosecution knew Geragos represented Jackson. (Indeed, they were dialoguing with Geragos in an effort to negotiate Jackson’s voluntary surrender before literally busting down the door to Miller’s office.) It plainly knew Jackson or his attorney had hired Miller, or why search his office in the first place? It knew enough about Miller’s relationship with Jackson to include an affidavit of probable cause sufficient to convince a judge to issue a search warrant.

Second, let’s look at the general knowledge the prosecution had. Remember, this search happened just hours before Jackson’s arrest — and the arrest warrant was issued before the searches. This was not a prosecutor’s office acting in the initial investigation of a case — it was an office on the verge of arresting the defendant. Its investigation, it seems, was mostly or entirely finished. Yet the Miller/Geragos link had never been revealed?

Also, this search apparently was one of three separate, simultaneous searches between Santa Barbara and Beverly Hills, all at precisely the same moment in time. The Neverland Ranch search alone involved seventy police and prosecutors. With such a knowledgeable battalion working on the case, is it possible it occurred to not a single officer or prosecutor that Jackson’s lawyer and his private investigator were working together?

For all these reasons, Sneddon’s claim that the Geragos/Miller relationship was news to him and his office is highly incredible.

How a search could have been legal

Ironically, prosecutors in the case could have conducted a legal search of Miller’s office. California Penal Code section 1524 is not a wholesale prohibition on the DA’s ability to search a premises where the privilege is likely to be asserted. Instead, it allows such a search, but sets out a specific procedure to be followed:

When the warrant is issued, the court must appoint a “special master” — that is, an independent person not associated with police or prosecutors — to oversee service of the warrant on the person in possession of the premises (here, Miller). Then, if that person (here, Miller) states that documents are privileged, they must be sealed by the special master and taken to court for a hearing.

Why didn’t Sneddon play by these rules? It’s hard to say for sure, but it’s possible that the special master procedure was intentionally ignored because it would have undermined Sneddon’s “sneak attack” strategy.

Sneddon plainly saw an advantage in ensuring that the three searches were done simultaneously at different locations, without advance notice to Jackson’s defense team. And of course, the defense couldn’t be present at three locations at the same time, to observe.

Assessing possible sanctions

First and foremost — and assuming the search of Miller’s office revealed evidence useful to the prosecution – the judge has the power to deem the illegally seized evidence from Miller’s office inadmissible as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” But here, the judge should do more.

There is a fine line between zealous prosecution and prosecutorial misconduct — and it’s a line this district attorney may be dangerously close to crossing. Sneddon’s apparent vendetta against Jackson has caused him to act improperly in the past, as well.

Suppressing evidence is not enough of a sanction when serious prosecutorial misconduct is at issue — as seems to be the case here. Only additional sanctions will properly punish and deter.

Unfortunately, however our system of justice is not exactly set up to mete out punishment to those who are supposed to be trusted officers of the court. Imposing fines against the attorneys themselves is always an option. Another possible (though rarely used) remedy for prosecutorial misconduct would be to recuse the individual offending attorney — or the entire District Attorney’s office.

This remedy can be proper if the court is convinced that the district attorney’s office has employed its discretionary powers to deprive the defendant of a fair trial.

Did that happen here? Certainly, there is a strong argument that it did — based on the blatant violation of warrant procedures and the resulting seizure of potentially privileged material.

Finally, in the most serious of cases, there is but one remedy that both ensures a just resolution for an accused, and punishes prosecutors who fail to play by the rules: Dismissal of the charges. But it does so at a potentially great cost to the victim when the defendant is indeed guilty of the crime charged. Here, however, the evidence of the defendant’s guilt is tenuous at best — and what evidence exists, may be less than credible.

In this case, then, dismissal might not be too extreme a sanction. The critical import, however, is that suppression of evidence is not enough when misconduct is as grave as occurred here.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/07/26/spilbor.jackson.sneddon/index.html?iref=allsearch

The quiet life of a pensioner….

A legal expert tells us that “dismissal of charges might not be too extreme a sanction when misconduct is as grave as occurred here”.

Shouldn’t we make the public aware of it?

Or should Tom Sneddon, the renowned pensioner of Santa Barbara, live in the comfort and quiet of his happy old age receiving the highest pension in the county for the invaluable services he rendered to the nation?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2012 1:12 pm

    “But what the police took in the search of Evvy Tavasci’s home office was a folder with the name Mesereau on it, that is what made the search illegal”

    Lynette, so Sneddon was guilty of breaking the client-attorney privilege twice. I was talking about the episode when Sneddon raided Brad Miller’s office on the same day as the police raided Neverland in November 2003. Miller was working for Geragos, and Geragos was then Michael’s attorney. Sneddon seized some audio and video tapes, and from what we know about it the tape with the Arvizos’ testimony allowed Sneddon to later change his charges from early February to February 20 – March 12.

    As regards the official video rebuttal made by Michael’s team Sneddon claimed that they were coerced into saying all those things, but having TWO tapes about the same thing made at different times was evidently too much even for Sneddon.

    And you are evidently talking about another episode of Sneddon breaking the client-attorney privilege – this time involving Thomas Mesereau. I haven’t studied the 2003 case well enough to know this detail, so if you know when this happened please give us a link to the date or source for a closer study.

    From what I read in Roger Friedman’s article about the earlier (Geragos) episode but which perfectly applies to the second episode too, the prosecution, when handling the materials which obviously belong to the defense (with Thomas Meserau’s name on the folder!) are not allowed to see them without a special court order or some other special permission. This was surely not the case of Sneddon – whatever he grabbed from anyone who possessed the defense materials was immediately studied, dates changed, the information leaked to the press, etc.

    All these things are examples of total lawlessness. We should work on the list of Sneddon’s misdeeds to add it to William Wagener’s affidavit.

    Here is the article I referred to, provided by the MJ Fan Club:

    July 8, 2004
    Roger Friedman’s column on July 7, 2004 comments on a private audio tape made by Brad Miller:

    There’s a smoking gun in the Michael Jackson child-abuse case, but it’s not going to help the prosecution.

    An audiotape made by private investigator Brad Miller on or around Feb. 20, 2003, may solve the whole case.

    On the tape, Miller working for Jackson defense attorney Mark Geragos interviews the 13-year-old boy now accusing Jackson of impropriety. Also interviewed are the boy’s brother, sister and mother.

    This tape, I’m told, is the reason behind all those closed-door arguments among the lawyers in the case and the subject of Judge Rodney Melville’s sealing of evidence. The tape, and a lot of documents that have nothing to do with Jackson, were found in a police raid on Miller’s office the same day cops charged into Neverland last November.

    That’s the problem. Miller’s lawyer, as well as Jackson’s, claim that Miller worked for Geragos and not for Jackson, making Miller part of the defense team and everything in his office thus off-limits to prosecutors. I’m told that the search warrant against Miller, however, incorrectly stated that he was Jackson’s employee.

    Miller has had to hire his own legal representation because, he’s told friends, many of the items confiscated by the Santa Barbara police in that November raid are files pertaining to other clients, not to Jackson.

    But it’s what’s on the tape that all the lawyers are fighting about.

    Miller, under instructions from Geragos, interviewed the family members about their relationships with Jackson. He asked them a lot of questions, including whether or not there had been any sexual misconduct. The answers, I’m told, were emphatically “no.”

    Prosecutors may suggest the three were coerced or forced to read from a script. But it appears they were not alone during the taping session. Major Jay Jackson, the boy’s mother’s boyfriend, was with them the whole time, my sources say.

    “If Jay Jackson didn’t like what they were being asked, he could have said something,” one source says. “He didn’t.”

    It’s a big issue that the prosecutors are in possession of this tape. Under the law, they are not allowed to listen to it until the judge rules whether or not it’s part of the defense. But District Attorney Tom Sneddon may have listened to it. (No one from the prosecutor’s office will comment on this or any other part of the Jackson case, invoking the court’s gag order.)

    The tape may also play into the ever-shifting timeline in the Jackson case. When Sneddon filed charges against Jackson, he alleged that the child molestation took place between Feb. 7 and March 10 of 2003. Later, when he re-filed, the dates were changed: Feb. 20 to March 12, 2003.

    “That’s because the tape was made later, around February 16 or 18,” says my source. “Also, that’s when the family was interviewed by the Los Angeles child-welfare people. Sneddon is trying to re-set the time line so it all matches.”

    An interviewer from the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services spoke to the family during the same week they made the tape. I’m told the same answers came back nothing untoward had happened.

    Sneddon, it’s suggested, had to change the dates of the charges so that they began after the tape was made and the interview was conducted.

    “And we’re to believe that Michael, knowing about the tape and the interview, then decided to molest the kid,” my source says incredulously.

    There’s more. Initially, we were led to believe that Jackson’s managers, Dieter Wiesner and Ronald Konitzer, hired Geragos in January 2003 before any of this started.

    We were told that they did this with an eye toward suing Sony Music over Jackson’s situation with the company. It was supposedly only a coincidence that Geragos was on duty when the family of the accuser needed handling.

    Now, however, I am told by an eyewitness that Wiesner and Konitzer didn’t retain Geragos until right after the Martin Bashir television special “Living With Michael Jackson” aired on ABC on Feb. 7, 2003.

    According to my source, Wiesner and Konitzer immediately suspected that the family was going to become a problem once the special aired.
    “They wanted to be paid for being in it,” my source said. “When they weren’t, it became an issue.”

    Geragos kept a vigilant eye on the family even when it was being chaperoned by Jackson’s employees. For example, he paid at least one month’s rent on the family’s East Los Angeles apartment.

    “They were going to be evicted,” says a source, “and he thought it was the right thing to do.”

    He also assigned a “watcher” named Johnny who worked for Miller to keep an eye on them during a four- or five-day stay at the Hotel Calabasas about 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

    “He [Johnny] was there to keep the press away,” says my source.

    Prosecutors have hinted that the Hotel Calabasas stay was a type of incarceration. But defense sources say they have evidence that the family went to the movies, ate at an Outback Steakhouse and was free to come and go.

    The family was eventually moved out of its apartment and all its belongings put in storage. The conspiracy component of the Jackson indictment suggests that this was done against their wishes.

    But my source insists, “They wanted it. The mother said she wanted her apartment cleaned out and everything thrown away. She said she was starting a new life with Jay.”

    The Jackson team made sure it chronicled everything that happened.

    “All the contents of that apartment were videotaped. We weren’t going to have them say something was missing later,” my source says.

    Source: FoxNews; Fox411 Roger Friedman by special permission / MJFC

  2. lynande51 permalink
    August 25, 2012 2:51 am

    “From what I know it was not illegal to search the premises of a personal assistant of MJ – what was illegal was to search the premises of a private investigator working for MJ’s defense attorney (it is almost the same as breaking into the office of Thomas Mesereau and taking away his documents).”

    But what the police took in the search of Evvy Tavasci’s home office was a folder with the name Mesereau on it, that is what made the search illegal unless they had a special master prepared to take charge of that file folder and they did not. The defense had to file a motion to have it held from the prosecutors and have a special master assigned to the folder and her computers that were taken at the time in case there was legal corespondence from one of MJ’s attorney’s.They police and the prosecution made no attempt to hide the fact that they had the folder and had already read what was in there when they objected to the motion to assign a special master. Sneddon and his Sheriff’s department just did not care what they did in the case because they thought they were going to be the heros. Well they aren’t heros they are the true criminals on the case not MJ.

  3. August 25, 2012 2:30 am

    “if anyone would like to see or have the actual video showing them trash MJ’s house..contact me”, – k.wesker

    K.Wesker, we very much want to see the actual video of them trashing Michael’s house! Will you be able to provide it to us?
    Pleeeeeeeese!

    “I pray for some kind of justice and want to thank the man in the white hat, (photo above-scroll back up) William J Wagener for continuing to fight for MJ!”

    I am also very thankful to William Wagener and all those who support him. Here is the petition in his support:

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/662/053/218/support-of-affidavit-concerning-criminal-conduct-of-tom-sneddon-2005-michael-jackson-trial/?cid=FB_TAF_CIT

    The goal is set at 5000 signatures now.

    PLEASE SIGN!

  4. k. wesker permalink
    August 25, 2012 1:04 am

    It is shameful what they did to MJ, his life, hiis home!! I pray for some kind of justice and want to thank the man in the white hat, (photo above-scroll back up) William J Wagener for continuing to fight for MJ! We love you, Michael
    ps. if anyone would like to see or have the actual video showing them trash MJ’s house..contact me. Sneddon is just a bad man.

  5. August 22, 2012 5:40 pm

    “Here is letter #3. Putting this together was more difficult than I believed it would be” - Dialdancer

    Dial, I can imagine how difficult the task is. And I suggest that some things should probably be added/or corrected.

    From what I know it was not illegal to search the premises of a personal assistant of MJ – what was illegal was to search the premises of a private investigator working for MJ’s defense attorney (it is almost the same as breaking into the office of Thomas Mesereau and taking away his documents). Private investigator Brad Miller was working for then MJ’s attorney Geragos (who was later replaced by Mesereau). Breaking the client-attorney privilege is so grave an offense that it may stop the trial then and there. Sneddon was ordered even to testify about that occurrence and said that he “didn’t know” that Miller was an employee of Geragos. Actually he said he thought that Miller was Michael’s assistant.

    Another illegal point was that they broke into MJ’f office premises for which they did not have a search warrant. For Michael’s home they did have it but for the office premises they did not. As far as I know the search of office premises requires a special procedure because as a result of it confidential financial information or business secrets may be seized.

    Another point was that Sneddon changed the dates of alleged molestation to a date after the rebuttal video was broadcast in order to create semblance of the truth. Sneddon initially followed the dates given by the Arvizos to psychologist Katz but later dropped them and changed to a later date – see this news report:

    26 November 2004

    “Michael Jackson’s lawyers want his accuser and his family to undergo psychological tests ahead of the star’s child abuse trial in January. The Thriller singer’s legal team argues the dates the alleged abuse happened in the original complaint differs from April’s indictment to stand trial, which no longer follows the details recounted by psychologist Stanley Katz who interviewed the teenage boy. Jackson’s lawyers say, “Somewhere, the perception of the facts in this case was significantly altered.” While the alleged abuses are said to have taken place between February 7 and March 10, 2003, Jackson’s lawyers say the indictment in April 2004 altered the dates to between February 20 and March 12, 2003. The motion calls on the judge to order a psychological evaluation of the accuser, his brother and their mother, to take place on Monday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court”.

    I don’t know how this meddling with the dates is qualified by the law (it might not be an offense), but the very least it tells us is that there was simply NO CASE against Jackson, as he could not commit a crime AFTER the whole world started looking in horror at Neverland after Bashir’s documentary.

    In fact if we follow Sneddon’s timeline it turns out that the “molestation” started on the very day when the Department for Family and Children interviewed the Arvizos and they said an emphatic “Nothing happened” to its two experts – on February 20, 2003.

    This shows that the case was simply fictional, but how it should be worded to the supervisors I do not know.

  6. aldebaranredstar permalink
    August 22, 2012 8:42 am

    Thanks for explaining, Helena–so there was an audiotape and a videotape. Is the audiotape still under seal or is it available?

    Can’t believe Sneddon got away with all this–I mean, changing the dates was so transparent that he was making the “evidence” fit the verdict he wanted. Major fraud upon fraud. He was supposed to be finding out what happened and not constructing what happened to fit what he wanted to happen. I am amazed so many believed Sneddon had a case after he changed the dates.

    The whole thing is just incredible. So after being accused of molestation, MJ, who is innocent, then decides to molest the person he is accused of molesting!

  7. August 22, 2012 3:02 am

    @dialdancer I like your letter #3 and would like to “adopt” it, but I can no longer find the list of addresses to send such letters to. If you can, could you please leave it in this comment section after your sample letter? Thanks.

  8. August 22, 2012 2:48 am

    Here is letter #3. Putting this together was more difficult than I believed it would be. There is no way to anticipate the next argument against any letter sent to the Santa Barbara County Supervisors supporting Wagener’s affidavit; to satisfy arguments about should or should not be in the letter or how long or short it must be. My emails and letters will go out tomorrow.

    Date:

    Official’s Title
    Municipal Office Address

    Dear ________:

    This letter serves to express my continued support of the affidavit presented by Mr. William Wagener to you and your fellow County Supervisors in public forum on August 14, 2012.
    I wish to address other felonies committed by Tom Sneddon. I strongly urge the below felonies be considered when determining whether a special prosecutor is assigned to investigate this matter.

    Each felony has been tested by several legal representatives to insure they fall under fraud of the court. Each felony is a matter of court record. The body of the below criminal acts are found in the Santa Barbara Superior Court criminal records Case #1133603. Notice of Motion and Motion to Set Aside the Indictment (Penal Code Section 995) 06/29/2004 Released: 03/08/2006.

    1. Tom Sneddon conspired to change the dates of the alleged molestation to fit the time frame that both Michael Jackson and the alleged victim, Gavin Arvizo, were in the same city/state.

    2. Tom Sneddon knowingly requested arrest warrant for Michael Jackson based on a false witness statement by Gavin Arivzo and family to Forensic Psychologist Dr. Katz. The statement contains manufactured dates and occurrences of the alleged molestation.

    3. Tom Sneddon used the same fraudulent statement as probable cause to obtain several search warrants for Michael Jackson’s home

    4. Tom Sneddon knowingly filed false kidnapping charges against Michael Jackson when he was aware the alleged victims of the kidnapping moved about freely on shopping trips and was also in contact with Tom Sneddon himself during the alleged kidnapping time frame.

    5. Tom Sneddon approved a search warrant and a raid on the home of Michael Jackson’s personal assistant, whereby folders labeled “Defense Attorney”, a fax addressed to the defense attorney, 15 items covered by attorney-client privilege and at least 36 items that were not covered by the search warrant were illegally seized.

    Sincerely,

    Your Name
    Address (State & Country)

  9. August 21, 2012 2:51 pm

    “I am not sure what tape Miller had. Didn’t they show the tape of the Arvizos praising MJ at the trial?”

    Aldebaranredstar, I think we are talking about the tape which Brad Miller (working for MJ’s defense attorney Geragos) made around February 16-18, 2003 – well before the Neverland raid in Nov.2003 and the charges filed against MJ in Dec.2003. This tape was seized by Sneddon during his raid of Brad Miller’s office, which as I hear was on the same day Neverland was raided on November 18, 2003.

    This was a private audio recording made in addition to the rebuttal video shown on TV and was made on instruction from Geragos so that the family could not change their story later:

    Attorney says he was concerned pop star might be victimized

    Monday, May 16, 2005 Posted: 11:17 AM EDT (1517 GMT)

    SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) — Celebrity criminal attorney Mark Geragos said Friday that he ordered surveillance on the family of Michael Jackson’s teenage accuser because he was “gravely concerned” that they might be scheming to extract money from the pop star.

    “I was trying to prevent a crime against my client,” Geragos told jurors in Jackson’s child molestation trial. “I thought they were going to shake him down.”

    Geragos said he asked private investigator Brad Miller to keep tabs on the family to find out “where they were, what they were doing and who they were meeting with.” He also asked Miller to record a statement with the family so that they would be “locked into” their version of events and could not later change their story.

    He described the results of Miller’s investigation of the family as “negative,” and he said he concluded, “Michael should have nothing to do with them.”

    “It was a pending train wreck,” he said.

    However, Geragos denied involvement in any conspiracy to hold the family against their will, as the prosecution alleges.

    Testifying for the defense, Geragos said he was hired to represent Jackson in February 2003, during what he described as a “whirlwind” after the entertainer appeared in “Living With Michael Jackson,” an unflattering television documentary by British journalist Martin Bashir.

    Jackson replaced Geragos in April 2004 with his current attorney, Thomas Mesereau Jr.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/LAW/05/13/jackson.trial/index.html

    Roger Friedman also speaks about the tape from Brad Miller’s office:

    July 8, 2004

    Roger Friedman On Private Audio Tape
    There’s a smoking gun in the Michael Jackson child-abuse case, but it’s not going to help the prosecution.

    An audiotape made by private investigator Brad Miller on or around Feb. 20, 2003, may solve the whole case.

    On the tape, Miller working for Jackson defense attorney Mark Geragos interviews the 13-year-old boy now accusing Jackson of impropriety. Also interviewed are the boy’s brother, sister and mother.

    This tape, I’m told, is the reason behind all those closed-door arguments among the lawyers in the case and the subject of Judge Rodney Melville’s sealing of evidence. The tape, and a lot of documents that have nothing to do with Jackson, were found in a police raid on Miller’s office the same day cops charged into Neverland last November.

    That’s the problem. Miller’s lawyer, as well as Jackson’s, claim that Miller worked for Geragos and not for Jackson, making Miller part of the defense team and everything in his office thus off-limits to prosecutors. I’m told that the search warrant against Miller, however, incorrectly stated that he was Jackson’s employee.

    Miller, under instructions from Geragos, interviewed the family members about their relationships with Jackson. He asked them a lot of questions, including whether or not there had been any sexual misconduct. The answers, I’m told, were emphatically “no.”

    Prosecutors may suggest the three were coerced or forced to read from a script. But it appears they were not alone during the taping session. Major Jay Jackson, the boy’s mother’s boyfriend, was with them the whole time, my sources say. “If Jay Jackson didn’t like what they were being asked, he could have said something,” one source says. “He didn’t.”

    It’s a big issue that the prosecutors are in possession of this tape.

    Under the law, they are not allowed to listen to it until the judge rules whether or not it’s part of the defense. But District Attorney Tom Sneddon may have listened to it. (No one from the prosecutor’s office will comment on this or any other part of the Jackson case, invoking the court’s gag order.)

    The tape may also play into the ever-shifting timeline in the Jackson case. When Sneddon filed charges against Jackson [in December 2003], he alleged that the child molestation took place between Feb. 7 and March 10 of 2003. Later, when he re-filed, the dates were changed: Feb. 20 to March 12, 2003.

    “That’s because the tape was made later, around February 16 or 18,” says my source. “Also, that’s when the family was interviewed by the Los Angeles child-welfare people. Sneddon is trying to re-set the time line so it all matches.”

    An interviewer from the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services spoke to the family during the same week they made the tape. I’m told the same answers came back nothing untoward had happened.

    Sneddon, it’s suggested, had to change the dates of the charges so that they began after the tape was made and the interview was conducted.

    “And we’re to believe that Michael, knowing about the tape and the interview, then decided to molest the kid,” my source says incredulously.

    Source: FoxNews; Fox411 Roger Friedman by special permission / MJFC

  10. aldebaranredstar permalink
    August 21, 2012 9:34 am

    What about thr initial search of Neverland in November 03, where 70 detectives descended, including, apparently, Diane Dimond, and they locked all the staff out of the house and went into rooms they did not have a search warrant for–namely, Michael’s office? That is illegal, isn’t it?

    I am not sure what tape Miller had. Didn’t they show the tape of the Arvizos praising MJ at the trial?

    This is great work!!

  11. Rodrigo permalink
    August 21, 2012 8:08 am

    Sneddon went to every length to get Michael sent down. Abusing his power to suppress and eliminate every thing that was in Michael’s favor. He planned it out so well, didn’t he? Until now, after reading Lynette’s posts, I had no idea how truly desperate he was.

    He changed and broke every rule in the game. He did things no other D.A has ever done. He created charges so that no one else on Michael’s team could help him. He knew full well the Arvizo’s were lying, but helped them out anyway. Played everything out in the media as well, in the attempt to damage Michael’s chances.

    He cannot be allowed to get away with this. He just can’t.

    But I feel, justice can be done. It happened with Evan, though I’m not happy in any way that he killed himself. Murray. Hopefully Sneddon will have his time. Then one day, Guttierrez and Dimond will follow. God is slow, but sure.

  12. lynande51 permalink
    August 21, 2012 7:40 am

    I also forgot that they also had to employ another Special Master for the file labeled Mesereau that the police seized in the search of Evvie Tavasci’s home office. That search was conducted on September 17th,2004, the same day that Janet Arvizo was on the witness stand to testify for Sneddon in the hearing about the search of Brad Miller’s office.The police never should have touched anything with Mesereau’s name on it and they knew it. I think that the reason that Sneddon used search warrants rather than a subpoena is because they could go on a search and destroy looking at everything instead of just asking for something with a subpoena which would normally have been the case. Taking that file with Mesereau’s name on it was an attempt to have Mesereau have to be recused from the case to testify of something excupatory was found in that file. That is what I believe was his motive for taking that file in the first place.

  13. lynande51 permalink
    August 21, 2012 7:22 am

    I should add that the conspiracy charge led not only to a changing of the dates of the crimes alleged he had also had the tape suppressed by searching Brad Miller’s office and seizing it. When he did that and a Special Master was appointed he then sought to cover up the exculpatory tape when he had Brad Miller, Mark Geragos, Johnny Majetek and Asaf Villichek added as unnamed unindicted co-conspirators.When he did that Mark geragos had to be replaced in order to become a witness for Michael against the conspiracy charge.So he in fact deprived Michael of his right to counsel of his choice in order to bring this case to trial.So he did it not just to finesse the timeline but to gain control of the tape that could in fact be used as a legal transcript for cross examination.Sneddon never wanted the jury to hear that tape and they never got too.

  14. August 21, 2012 3:59 am

    Beautiful article…lots of good points for those who still fear, and for those of us bracing for the outcome. :)

  15. August 21, 2012 3:08 am

    another excellent article. I signed the petition and sent letters in to the California authorities. Justice for MJ.

  16. lynande51 permalink
    August 21, 2012 2:44 am

    I also forgot about the conspiracy charge against Michael. He was the only one charged with the crime of conspiracy to commit the crimes. Five others were named as unindicted co conspirators. Dieter Weizner, Ronald Konitzer, Frank Cascio, Vinnie Black and F. Marc Schaffel. There were also several unnamed unindicted coconspirators and they were Mark Geragos, Brad Miller, Johnny Majetek, Asaf Villichek and I believe Al Malnik and Brian Oxman believe it or not. Anyone who could testify for Michael was named as a conconspirator if Sneddon had anything to do with it.
    That is how he intended to use the tape recording from Brad Millers office and that is another charge of fraud.And he used charging these people with the crimes of child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.Also the reason that Frank could not testify was he was the one that was the most in danger of having a charge against him because of hsi taped conversation of Janet Arvizo on Feb. 13th,2003. He taped her without her knowledge or consent and that is a Federal crime because the law in Claifornia says that both people must agree to taping the conversation.

  17. lynande51 permalink
    August 21, 2012 2:35 am

    “When the warrant is issued, the court must appoint a “special master” — that is, an independent person not associated with police or prosecutors — to oversee service of the warrant on the person in possession of the premises (here, Miller). Then, if that person (here, Miller) states that documents are privileged, they must be sealed by the special master and taken to court for a hearing.”

    The Special Master in this case with Miller was not named until after Brad Miller asserted the attorney client priviledge in this case. This is one more example of his fraud upon the court and the court documents prove it.He met with Janet Arvizo behind the Federal Building in LA just prior to the search warrant execution and she identified Miller from a photo so he knew full well that MJ had an attorney and he had an investigator investigating the Arvizo family. The evidence that they wanted excluded from the case was the recording of the Arivzo denial on February 16th, 2003 by Brad Miller where he informs them from the beginning that he worked for Mark Geragos and again at the end that it was a legal statement to a representative of Mark Geragos. Knowing that they knew that there were at least 2 statements denying the allegations during their original timeline they minimized the DCFS report and they tried to eliminate the statement made to Brad Miller. This is exactly why he asked for a continuance for the date of the preliminary hearing and then presented his case to a Grand and changed the dates. If he had continued with a preliminary a judge could never have allowed the case because of the denials and the accusations occuring only after meeting with a civil attorney that had scored a big settlement against the same defendent 10 years before. He fanaggled his way into a court room to try this case and that is one count of fraud right there.

  18. lynande51 permalink
    August 21, 2012 2:20 am

    The charges that WW is trying to get someone to file against Sneddon is prosecutorial fraud. It is against Sneddon and the only thing that he is doing with MJ’s case is using it as some certain pieces of evidence of that fraud.It would do nothing to MJ’s case at all except to show that Sneddon is guilty of Prosecutorial fraud and I believe that an investigation would ensue that would involve other cases as well.He is only using MJ’s case for the evidence that can be proven in court not to have the verdict changed in any way and it would not automatically lead to that from a State to a Federal court.

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