The star issues a video statement as he prepares to face ten charges of ten counts of child molestation and conspiracy....

Michael Jackson has issued a video statement hours appealing for a fair trial – hours before it is due to start.

As fans begin to arrive in Santa Maria to support Michael Jackson, whose trial starts today (January 31) on ten counts of child molestation and conspiracy, the singer issued a video online appealing for a fair trial.

In it, he said he had “great faith” in the justice system, and appealed for a fair trial.

He said: “I love my community and have great faith in our justice system. Please keep an open mind and let me have my day in court. I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen.”

Today up to 750 people are being considered for the jury. This process alone could take up to a month, with estimates of the trial lasting in the region of six months.

If found guilty, Michael Jackson faces up to 21 years behind bars.