Police clear doctor

MICHAEL Jackson's family were planning funeral arrangements for the tragic pop icon yesterday as reports said police who interviewed the star's doctor for a second time found "no smoking gun."

MICHAEL Jackson's family were planning funeral arrangements for the tragic pop icon yesterday as reports said police who interviewed the star's doctor for a second time found "no smoking gun."

Jackson's family members were to meet activist Reverend Al Sharpton to discuss plans for a tribute to the star, whose sudden death last week at the age of 50 has triggered a global outpouring of grief.

Sharpton was cited in several media reports as saying Jackson's family was considering a series of simultaneous memorials around the world to reflect the huge appeal of the late "King of Pop."

Sharpton said the family were upset by media coverage of Jackson's death, which had focused on the star's problems such as allegations of child abuse, financial woes and battles with prescription drugs.

"They want to see their brother treated right. They told me, 'You've gotta keep going out there and defend Michael'," Sharpton told the New YorkDaily News.

"If we can look past the shortcomings of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, then we can put into proper perspective any shortcomings Michael might have had," Sharpton said.

Jackson's family on Saturday ordered a second autopsy to be carried out after growing increasingly frustrated with "unanswered questions" surrounding the star's death, family advisers said.

Los Angeles police on Saturday conducted a second interview with doctor Conrad Murray, the only person with Jackson when he collapsed.

Veteran US activist Reverend Jesse Jackson - who is not related to the family- said the family were suspicious of the role played by Murray.

Murray is reported to have injected Jackson with a powerful painkiller Demerol just before he died and left Jackson's mansion after administering CPR to the stricken star.

A spokesperson for the cardiologist said he "clarified some inconsistencies" during a second interview with detectives late Saturday.

But spokesperson Miranda Sevcik said: "Investigators say the doctor is in no way a suspect and remains only a witness to this tragedy."

The Los Angeles Times cited a source close to the investigation as saying that "no red flag, no smoking gun" emerged from the interview. - Sapa-AP

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