NEWS
09/12/2014 08:50 EDT | Updated 11/12/2014 05:59 EST

Luka Magnotta Jury Screening Could Delay Murder Trial

ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this photo provided by Montreal Police, Luka Rocco Magnotta is taken by police from a Canadian military plane to a waiting van on Monday, June 18, 2012, in Mirabel, Quebec. Magnotta, the suspect in the killing and dismemberment of a Chinese student, returned to Canada via military transport from Germany, where he was arrested this month. (AP Photo/Montreal Police)

The murder trial of LukaMagnotta may begin two weeks after its scheduled start date because the court will have to conduct in-depth interviews to ensure selected jury members are fluently bilingual.

Next week, juror candidates will be brought before the court in small groups and questioned to establish their level of fluency. Lawyers estimate each interview could take up to 20 minutes.

The court had originally planned to speak with 40 candidates per day. But because of the importance of language proficiency, the number was lowered to 24.

This could add up to two weeks to the selection process and delay the trial from its scheduled start date of Sept. 22.

Magnotta has requested an English trial, but evidence will be presented in both English and French.

While screening the candidates will be a long process, lawyers say it will save the court from having to translate materials and testimony.

On Friday, more than 300 candidates were selected for a second stage of screening, which starts on Sept. 16 and could go until Oct. 3.

The judge requested that the court seek out even more potential jurors, in the event that the next stage of screening doesn't yield the required 14 to 16 jury members.

Magnotta, 32, faces five charges including the first-degree murder of 33-year-old Concordia University student Jun Lin. He pleaded not guilty.

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