Victoria Henneberry, 28, and Blake Leggette, 26, of Halifax are charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 26-year-old Saint Mary's University student.
Early Tuesday, Judge Anne Derrick excluded everyone from the court for a voir dire, including the Saunders family and media. Only Legette, Henneberry, the lawyers and sheriffs were allowed to stay.
A voir dire is a trial within a trial where lawyers discuss points of law and the admissibility of evidence.
The trial will resume today with a decision on whether the information discussed will be allowed as evidence.
Senior Crown attorney Christine Driscoll said outside court she expects to call 15 police and civilian witnesses to testify.
Saunders is the Halifax student whose slaying renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. She was Inuk, stuyding Canada's many missing and murdered aboriginal women.
The 26-year-old disappeared from Halifax on Feb. 13.
Henneberry and Leggette had been subletting Saunders's apartment in Cowie Hill.
They were arrested in Ontario with her car five days after she disappeared.
Saunders's body was later found in a wooded area off the Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick on Feb. 26.
On Monday, defence lawyers for Henneberry and Leggette made the standard request for a publication ban, which was granted.
Publication bans protect the suspects' right to a fair trial. Preliminary hearings determine whether there is enough evidence to require a trial. This hearing is scheduled to go until Friday, and, if necessary, Aug. 1.