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Jackson's doctor 'in no way a suspect'

THE cardiologist who was with Michael Jackson during his final moments sat down with investigators for three hours to explain his actions, and his spokeswoman says he is not a suspect.

Dr Conrad Murray, who was hired to accompany Jackson on his planned summer concert tour, reportedly performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived at Jackson's rented home. The pop star was later declared dead at UCLA Medical Center.

In his interview with police, the doctor "helped identify the circumstances around the death of the pop icon and clarified some inconsistencies," Murray's spokeswoman Miranda Sevcik said in a statement on Saturday. "Investigators say the doctor is in no way a suspect and remains a witness to this tragedy."

She said Murray had been in Los Angeles since Jackson's death, and planned to stay there until his cooperation was no longer needed.

Police confirmed that they interviewed Murray, adding that he was cooperative and "provided information which will aid the investigation."

The interview took place on a busy day when one of Jackson's lawyers was chosen to represent the family's legal interests and celebrities descended on Los Angeles for a star-studded public celebration of the King of Pop's life at a television awards show.

L. Londell McMillan, who represented Jackson last year in a breach of contact lawsuit and has advised high-profile clients such as Prince, is said to have been picked to help the family by Katherine Jackson, the singer's mother.

The legal move came as the Reverend Jesse Jackson, a civil rights leader, revealed that Michael Jackson's family wants a second, private autopsy of the pop superstar because of unanswered questions about how he died.

"It's abnormal," he said from Chicago a day after visiting the Jackson family. "We don't know what happened. Was he injected and with what? All reasonable doubt should be addressed."

People close to Jackson have said since his death that they were concerned about his use of painkillers. Los Angeles County medical examiners completed their autopsy on Friday and said Jackson had taken prescription medication.

Funeral plans

Medical officials also said there was no indication of trauma or foul play. An official cause of death could take weeks to determine.

There was no word from the Jackson family on funeral plans. Many of Jackson's relatives have gathered at the family's Encino compound, caring there for Jackson's three children. An attorney for Deborah Rowe, the mother of Jackson's two oldest children, issued a statement asking that the Jackson family "be able to say goodbye to their loved one in peace."

The Jackson family issued a statement on Saturday expressing grief over the death and thanking his supporters. The statement read: "In one of the darkest moments of our lives we find it hard to find the words appropriate to this sudden tragedy we all had to encounter."


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