Cult women trial faces year's delay: Legal manoeuvrings by defence could postpone start of conspiracy case
Monday 01 August 1994
Attorneys for Sally-Anne Croft and Susan Hagan are preparing for a fierce pre-trial legal battle aimed at convincing the US District Court in Portland, Oregon, that the jury pool in the state has been prejudiced - both by recent publicity and a lingering hostility towards the cult to which the women once belonged.
It is understood they may demand to be allowed to cross-examine potential jurors in judge's chambers during jury selection. Under federal law, judges question panellists before they are chosen - although they can allow attorneys to do so. The women's lawyers hope this will help weed out jurors who still harbour strong feelings about former followers of the late guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh - some of whom were involved in crimes, including a food-poisoning plot, phone-tapping, arson, and attempted murder.
Defence lawyers are also considering requesting that the trial be moved out-of-state, perhaps to California where the cult's activities received less media coverage. Although the women's trial is scheduled to begin next month, legal manoeuvrings could last many months. According to one defence lawyer, it could be at least a year before a full hearing starts.
Ms Croft, 44, a City of London accountant, and Ms Hagan, 47, an aromatherapist, were conditionally released by a federal magistrate on Friday after they agreed to wear electronic monitoring devices. They denied charges of conspiring to murder Oregon's former US Attorney, Charles Turner.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Orphan kangaroos spend Christmas without their parents
Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
Isis 'did not shoot down Jordan war plane' before capturing pilot, says US
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...