Drug trial aborted, thanks to Sudoku playing jurors!

June 10th, 2008 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

By Neena Bhandari
Sydney, June 10 (IANS) Jurors’ obsession with the puzzle game ‘Sudoku’ has led to a million-dollar drugs trial being aborted here Tuesday. Sydney District Court Judge Peter Zahra aborted the trial of two men facing a possible life sentence on drugs conspiracy charges after it was found that the jurors were playing Sudoku while hearing evidence.

One of the lawyers for the defendant, Robyn Hakelis, alerted the judge to the jurors playing Sudoku.

She told the Australian Associated Press (AAP): “I noticed they were writing in all different directions and straight away I thought `they’re not taking notes like we thought they were’. Everyone assumed they were taking notes.”

The jury foreperson then told the judge: “Yes, it helps me keep my mind busy paying more attention. Some of the evidence is rather drawn out and I find it difficult to maintain my attention the whole time and that doesn’t distract me too much from proceedings.”

The trial has been running for 66 days over the past four months and cost an estimated $1 million to taxpayers.

A new trial will begin in a few weeks before a new jury.

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