Proceedings in the US trial against Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad being held in the Southern District of New York building in lower Manhattan have been suspended after presiding judge Alison Nathan was informed that the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) had contacted one of the prospective jurors in the case about possible contagion of coronavirus.

Judge Nathan asked jurors to leave the courtroom before informing lawyers that the courtroom they were using would have to be emptied for decontamination. Proceedings then moved to a different courtroom while the judge personally informed jurors in their room about the warning from the CDC. Returning from the jury’s room, Judge Nathan said “I think it went fine with the jurors. They seemed accepting of the information.”

Ali Sadr’s defence attorney Reid Weingarten complained the interruption could eat into his time for cross-examining a witness for the government.

More updates later. These updates are based on reporting by Matthew Russell Lee for Inner City Press.