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WATERLOO - The former owner and managers of Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville - accused of violating state child labor laws - won't stand trial on the charges until next year.

The case was initially scheduled to go to trial Aug. 4. Both sides, however, asked for more time which Judge Nate Callahan granted in a hearing Tuesday.

A trial date hasn't been set but a hearing on the status of the case is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2010.

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The Iowa Attorney General's Office last fall filed more than 9,000 charges against plant owner Abraham Aaron Rubashkin; former plant manager Sholom Rubashkin; human resources manager Elizabeth Billmeyer; and human resource employees Laura Althouse and Karina Freund. Prosecutors accuse the group of hiring minors and having children less than 16 years old handle dangerous equipment.

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Callahan also denied Tuesday a request by defense attorneys to dismiss the charges.

A pool of 60 Black Hawk County jurors were polled Tuesday afternoon to determine whether an impartial jury can be found for the trial. The jurors were asked to fill out written questionaires which the attorneys in the case and Callahan will review. If the court finds an impartial jury can't drawn from Black Hawk County, Callahan said he would consider either changing the venue of the trial or bringing in a jury from another county.

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