SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – The trial of four former top managers of the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant was moved out of Iowa because of negative publicity.
U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade moved the trial from Cedar Rapids to Sioux Falls, S.D. The judge ruled that the negative publicity about the case, and about former Agriprocessors CEO Sholom Rubashkin, was likely to cause potential jurors to be biased against the defendants.
Earlier, Reade accepted the defense request to postpone the trial until after the High Holidays. The original start date of Sept. 15 was put off to Oct. 13.
Rubashkin and his three co-defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges of violating federal immigration laws, bank fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud. Rubashkin, his co-defendants and his father, Aaron Rubashkin, former owner of Agriprocessors, face more than 9,000 additional charges of child labor law violations.
In July, SHF Industries purchased Agriprocessors for $8.5 million. The new owners told reporters that they plan to reopen as a kosher plant in the near future.