A total of 200 people were called up for 24 places, 12 on the jury and 12 on the reserve jury.
Each of those that had been called up could present arguments as to why they should be excused from jury service. 33 had already been excused before Monday’s sitting. 60 more came up with just about every excuse in the book to get off having to do jury service.
The excuse, some more valid than others. "I’m going skiing on 26 January”, “I am half deaf” and “I live in Erpe-Mere, in East Flanders” all of which were accepted by the court
Meanwhile, "I have issues of conscience”, “I am needed at work”, “I have read about the case in the newspaper and can’t make an objective judgement on it” and “I am a solicitor myself” were all rejected as excuses. The many doctors’ notes that’s were presented were all accepted as valid grounds to obtain exemption from jury service.
Although two-thirds of the jury is made up of men, the opposite is true of the reserve. There nine of the twelve women and three men.