Jackson's family request second post-mortem

The Jackson family were understood to have requested a second independent post-mortem examination on Michael Jackson’s body, a coroner's officer said tonight.

The Jackson family were understood to have requested a second independent post-mortem examination on Michael Jackson’s body, a coroner's officer said tonight.

Brian Elias, lieutenant at Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, said: “My understanding is that they have requested a second autopsy. But we have no way of confirming that.

“The body is in a mortuary and if they want to proceed with a separate autopsy, it is up to them.”

The first official examination was completed on Friday and the body released to the family.

Family friend the Rev Jesse Jackson is reported to have encouraged the family lawyer to press for the Jacksons to order their own tests.

The Jackson family have gathered at their home in Encino, Los Angeles, to discuss funeral arrangements and care for his three children.

They are reported to be searching for answers about the singer’s last days amid reports that he received a shot of the powerful painkiller Demerol shortly before his death and claims he was regularly taking a cocktail of prescription drugs.

A family friend said the Jacksons wanted to know more about the role AEG, the promoters of the singer’s planned UK concerts at London’s O2 Arena, was playing in his life before his death.

The family are also waiting for answers from Dr Conrad Murray, Jackson’s personal physician who was with him when he died.

Police are still waiting to question the doctor further and have seized his car from outside Jackson’s house in case it contained drugs or other evidence.

Entertainment news TMZ tonight reported that police also want to talk to a second medical adviser, Dr Tohme R Tohme, who met the singer in Bahrain and is reported to have accompanied him to hospital after he fell ill on Thursday.

Jackson’s death has resulted in a massive surge in sales across music retailers. A spokesman for HMV said sales increased 80 times over in the 24 hours after his death.

The Official Charts Company said his greatest hits album, Number Ones, will top the UK album charts and also expects to see “up to half a dozen” of the singer’s other albums in the Top 75.

Fans who had bought tickets for the singer’s string of concert dates in London are hoping to hear more from the promoters about arrangements to refund them. AEG said it would be making an announcement early next week.

And those who purchased tickets through eBay or Paypal heard today they will get their money back from the internet.

Jackson’s one-time agent, Nick Smith, said today he regretted not protecting the singer when he was planning his comeback.

He said: “Michael Jackson was a genius whose music inspired unity throughout the world. His artistry and magnetism changed the music landscape forever. He was a kind and tender spirit and I am lucky to have shared experiences with him.

“My only regret is not being there to protect him during the final months, walking away when his ’comeback team’ was forming, and allowing those who did not understand him to step in and take control.

“I extend my deepest condolences to his children, the Jackson family and all of those who feel that they have lost someone they have loved. We will miss him dearly.”

Charlie Beck, assistant police chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, said it was “way too early” to draw any conclusions about the singer’s death.

He said officers spoke to Dr Murray immediately after Jackson’s death but now wanted to carry out “an extensive follow-up interview”.

Craig Harvey, operations chief of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office, said there was no evidence of foul play or trauma on the superstar’s body but further tests were needed.

He said he could not comment on any specific drugs which Jackson may have been prescribed, but added: “We know he was taking some prescription medications.”

He said: “There was no indication of any external trauma or any indication of foul play on the body of Mr Jackson.”

Jackson’s death has prompted a flood of tributes from celebrities and fans.

Close friend Elizabeth Taylor said: “My heart... my mind... are broken.

“I loved Michael with all my soul and I can’t imagine life without him.”

Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad Isa Al Khalifa, who befriended Jackson after the singer’s trial on child abuse charges in 2005 but later sued him claiming he had reneged on a deal to record the sheikh’s songs, also paid tribute.

The sheikh told Gulf Daily News, that “the world has lost a giant in the music industry. We are all very saddened by that”.

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