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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Music juror court case adjourned
Ruhela Khanom
The judge described Ruhela's case as "fundamentally important"
The case of a 20-year-old Muslim woman from east London accused of listening to music while sitting as a juror at a murder trial has been adjourned.

A judge at London's Blackfriars Crown Court said he hoped to deal with Ruhela Khanom's case on Thursday.

He described the case as "difficult" and "fundamentally important".

Ms Khanom, who is charged with contempt of court, is alleged to have concealed MP3 earphones beneath her hijab while listening to the defendant's evidence.

'Difficult case'

The hearing was temporarily halted while the juror, from Bow, was discharged and then arrested.

The defendant - a man accused of murdering his wife - was later jailed.

On Monday the court's top judge, Aidan Marron QC, said the case would be adjourned to Thursday and if not possible, then the case would resume on Monday, 6 August.

He told the woman, who was wearing her traditional headscarf as she stood in the dock: "I regret very much indeed not being able to resolve this difficult case today.

"I can understand the real anxiety she and her family have, but I am afraid this is so important, it is of fundamental importance, that we get it right.

"I will endeavour to deal with this case on Thursday when counsel will be appointed to assist the court."

Earlier he told Helen Curtis, defending: "Having looked very carefully at this case, at the heart of it is whether this young lady deliberately ignored the case."

The judge also said the case would have to be tried at another court because of the danger that he and other judges at London's Blackfriars Crown Court would know some of the potential witnesses.


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