Juror throws wrench into trial

By Times Staff
Published June 8, 2007

A language problem emerged Thursday in the trial of Bosnian Serb refugee Branko Popic, and it had nothing to do with Popic's native Serbo-Croatian. After three days of testimony and four hours of deliberation, a Spanish-speaking juror asked U.S. District Judge James Moody to be dismissed from service because of language difficulties.

Asked to elaborate, the juror said, "I cannot explain myself." Moody will decide today whether to allow her to continue with an interpreter or replace her with an alternate. Popic, a 59-year-old St. Petersburg resident, is accused of falsifying immigration papers.