LONDON — Michael Jackson's family planned to spirit the singer out of the United States rather than see him jailed if he was convicted at his 2005 child abuse trial, his brother said in an interview published Saturday.
Jermaine Jackson told Britain's Times newspaper that a private jet financed by a friend was ready to fly the pop icon to Bahrain, which has no extradition treaty with the US.
The star, who died in June 2009 aged 50 after an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol, was not told about the plan but his brother believes he may have suspected something and would have agreed to the scheme.
"If they were going to sit and crucify my brother for something that he didn't do, America deserves us not to come back here," Jermaine Jackson, 56, told the paper.
"At the end of the day, this is supposed to be the land of the brave, home of the free, democracy, freedom of speech."
But the plan never had to be put into action as the star was found not guilty of all charges in June 2005 at the end of a trial lasting more than four months.
He was accused of molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo, giving alcohol to a minor and conspiring to kidnap him and his family.
In extracts published by the Times of his new book, "You Are Not Alone: Michael Through a Brother's Eyes", Jermaine Jackson tells how he made a phone call to ensure the escape plan was ready.
"The person on the other end of the line provides the reassurance that I needed to hear one more time," he writes.
"All that is required is a day's notice, and this DC8 (jet) will have Michael heading east -- to Bahrain -- to start a new life away from the scam of American justice."
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