A judge on Thursday rejected a defense effort to remove the Santa Barbara County district attorney prosecuting &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/accidents/2003/11/20/51380.html ' target=_blank>Michael Jackson on child molestation charges.
"I believe he has not been excessively zealous and has not threatened the integrity of the case to this point," said Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, who heard arguments from Jackson's lawyer, the prosecutor's office and the state attorney general's office. Melville said the law was clear that the only way he could remove District Attorney Tom Sneddon and his office, is "if a conflict existed where the defendant could not receive a fair trial, informs San Francisco Chronicle.
Jackson's lawyers have claimed that District Attorney Tom Sneddon has a personal vendetta against the music star after failing to get charges filed against him in a 1993 allegation of child molestation.
Criminal defense attorney Steve Cron said 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," Cron said. "It would be highly unusual for a judge to take the whole district attorney's office off a case", reports CBS News.
According to the Turkish Press, Sneddon was "justified in his prosecution and has been striking hard blows, not foul ones," he told the judge.
Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 12-year-old boy at Neverland in February and March of last year. He was arrested on November 19 and freed on three million dollars bail.