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Jacksons’ snow-white show

Santa Maria, California Aug. 17 (Reuters): Michael Jackson and members of his family, clad in apparently symbolic white outfits, turned up at court yesterday to watch his attorney in a “showdown” with the prosecutor who has twice charged him with child molestation.

Jackson, wearing an all-white three-piece suit accented by chains, a gold arm band and shiny white boots, arrived at court in a gold double-decker luxury tour bus and was greeted by more than 100 screaming fans.

He was accompanied by his brothers Jackie, Randy and Jermaine and sisters Janet and LaToya, who were also clad in white and sat in the front rows of the courtroom. Parents Joseph and Katherine Jackson came dressed in blue.

The mostly young admirers shrieked with joy when Jackson, 45, waved and smiled at them while they pressed up against a chain-link fence surrounding the courthouse.

While some of the assembled throng and and court observers took the white garb as a symbol of innocence or purity in the face of child molestation charges that could send him to prison for two decades, a Jackson spokeswoman declined to comment.

Randy Jackson would say only: “Its a personal thing.”

Jackson had not been expected to attend the hearing but apparently changed his mind after learning that Santa Barbara district attorney Tom Sneddon would be forced to testify about a search conducted by authorities last year.

His lawyers are trying to exclude from the trial evidence prosecutors seized from the office of private investigator Brad Miller, who was hired by Jackson’s former attorney Mark Geragos.

They say the seizure violated the rights of attorneys and clients to privileged information.

Sneddon, who Jackson views as a personal nemesis, took the witness chair to be questioned by the singer’s lead attorney, Tom Mesereau. Jackson appeared to relish the confrontation and a statement on his website referred to it as a “showdown.”

Mesereau, in persistent questioning, appeared to catch the veteran prosecutor in several contradictions and the singer’s family snickered at Sneddon’s repeated insistence that he was not aware of a Miller-Geragos connection.

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