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Rihanna will take witness stand in Chris Brown assault case, her attorney says

June 11, 2009 | 10:54 am

Chrisbrown Rhianna When Chris Brown’s preliminary hearing gets underway this month, pop star Rihanna will be in the courthouse and prepared to take the witness stand against her former boyfriend, her lawyer said today.

Representatives from the L.A. district attorney's office placed a subpoena in Rihanna's hand Tuesday during a prearranged meeting at her attorney’s office, lawyer Donald Etra said. The order requires the 21-year-old performer to show up to the downtown courthouse June 22, but it is not a guarantee that she will testify.

The rules for a preliminary hearing, a proceeding to ensure authorities have the right defendant and enough evidence to proceed to trial, are different than in trials. Investigating officers can summarize the statements of complaining witnesses and others in place of those witnesses actually testifying. Rihanna’s attorney, however, said he expected to see her in the witness chair. “We are presuming [the subpoena] means she will testify,” he said.

Prosecutors would not confirm the subpoena.

“We don’t comment on that,” said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office. Brown is accused of beating and threatening Rihanna in February during an argument over text messages he had received from a former lover.

If convicted of felony assault and criminal threats, the 19-year-old singer faces a maximum of five years in prison.

-- Harriet Ryan

Photos, from top: Chris Brown in court with attorney Mark Geragos; Rihanna. Credits: Los Angeles Times

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