Jury selection begins in Rubashkin’s second trial


(JTA) — Jury selection has begun in the child labor trial of kosher meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin.

Rubashkin, who is awaiting sentencing in his conviction on 86 federal financial fraud charges in connection with the Agriprocessors kosher meat processing plant in Postville, Iowa, is set to go on trial in Waterloo, Iowa, on charges that minors worked excessive hours and were exposed to poisonous chemicals and dangerous machinery at the plant. The trial is scheduled to last three weeks.

The Black Hawk County Jail across the street from the courthouse could not provide Rubashkin with the appropriate kosher food, so he will be driven daily from the Linn County jail in Cedar Rapids, where he has been held since his sentencing hearing, for the duration of the trial, the court decided Tuesday. Rubashkin had refused to eat for 24 hours since entering the county jail in what court officials told the Des Moines Register was a hunger strike. 

Rubashkin required the guards to carry him when he arrived Monday at the Black Hawk County Jail because his religious garb was taken from him, the newspaper reported. His clothing was later returned.

The court approved $35,000 in state money to fly in eight underage plant workers from Guatemala to testify against Rubashkin, the Des Moines Register reported.

The Agriprocessors plant in Postville was the site of a federal immigration raid in May 2008.

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