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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Martha Stewart Trial Date Delayed

The Jan. 12 trial date for Westports Martha Stewart has been delayed until at least until the third week in January, according to a court schedule for the proceeding.

Potential jurors in the criminal trial of Stewart, who is accused of obstructing justice and securities fraud, will be asked to complete a questionnaire about the case on Jan. 6, Bloomberg News reported.

In an order issued on Dec. 4 but just disclosed, U.S. District Judge Miriam Cedarbaum said potential jurors who are summoned to the courthouse in New York that day will receive a questionnaire asking them about their biases and other issues.

The questionnaire, which is not publicly available, is designed to weed out unsuitable jurors.

Copies of the completed questionnaire will be given to Stewart’s lawyers and prosecutors on Jan. 7, Cedarbaum said. Both sides will have until Jan. 12 to identify potential jurors who should be excluded.

On Jan. 20, Cedarbaum will hold a hearing to question other potential jurors further and Stewart is expected to first appear in court on that day. The judge has said she expects opening statements to begin about two days later.

Earlier, the court had indicated the trial would begin Jan. 12.

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Posted 12/24/03 at 01:18 PM  Permalink



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