Michael Jackson’s lawyer will be given copies of search warrants, affidavits and tape recordings kept under seal from the press and public in the singer’s child molestation case, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Media outlets, including The Associated Press, have filed motions demanding release of the material as a public record. A hearing on the matter is to take place Friday at the same court session during which Jackson will be arraigned.
Prosecutors have asked that the records remain sealed. Jackson attorney Mark Geragos asked to see the materials before he responds to the media motions.
“I could not take a position when I didn’t know what was in there,” Geragos said in a phone interview. He said he would decide his position on the media requests after reviewing the material.
Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville did not indicate what might be contained in the tape recordings but said a written transcript would be turned over to Geragos rather than the tapes themselves.
On Monday, Melville ruled that cameras would not be permitted in the courtroom during the arraignment in Santa Maria.
The judge also has agreed to hear arguments at that time on the district attorney’s bid to impose a gag order on all participants in the trial to prevent them from talking to the press.
Jackson is charged with seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent, reportedly wine.
He is free on $3 million bail pending his arraignment. Jackson has maintained his innocence.