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Jackson's doctor faces charge over death

US prosecutors plan to charge the late pop star Michael Jackson's doctor with manslaughter, lawyers in Los Angeles said last night.

The prosecutors will file a criminal complaint against Dr Conrad Murray in court rather than go through a secret grand jury, sources said.

The complaint would be the prelude to a public hearing in which a judge would consider evidence from witnesses to decide if there is cause to try Dr Murray on a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

The dead superstar's doctor Dr Conrad Murray was in Los Angeles for meetings with his legal team yesterday.

He has not yet been asked to surrender to police or appear in court in connection with the pop singer's death, his lawyer said last night.

Speculation about possible charges against Dr Conrad Murray has been brewing for months after the county coroner's office ruled that Jackson's death in Los Angeles on June 25 was a homicide by drug overdose.

Dr Murray, a cardiologist with offices in Houston and Las Vegas, was hired to care for Jackson while the entertainer prepared for a series of comeback concerts in London.

Ed Chernoff, Dr Murray's lead attorney, confirmed that the physician was in Los Angeles but said that, contrary to reports in the media, no court appearance had been ordered or scheduled for this week.

"Yes, he's in Los Angeles, he's here to meet with his lawyers and to visit with his family," Mr Chernoff told Reuters.

"But, look, if the cops want him he's not hiding. We'll be happy to surrender him and they know that," Mr Chernoff added.

Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, said that she was aware of the stories in the media but declined to confirm them.