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Roger Stone leaves first day of trial amid alleged medical emergencies

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The trial of Roger Stone, the former campaigner of President Donald Trump, took off an unusual start on Tuesday (local time) amid a host of medical issues that resulted in the lobbyist abruptly leaving the courtroom.

Only minutes after the first potential juror took the witness stand to determine whether the longtime Trump associate and political provocateur obtained information from WikiLeaks, Stone allegedly complained of suffering from food poisoning, CNN reported.

"Mr. Stone is not feeling well," defence attorney Robert Buschel told Judge Amy Berman Jackson at the bench shortly after the potential jurors were sworn in.

On two occasions, Stone was allowed to leave the courtroom to use the restroom. The judge made him aware they could postpone the proceedings since he had a right to be in court and face his potential jurors.

"I'm not going to order him to waive his constitutional rights, but we cannot spend a whole day doing what we should be able to do in a short period of time," Jackson said, according to the transcript of sidebar discussions with the judge.

"So, let him go, let him come back, and then we're going to bring in the next juror," it added.

At one point the judge even offered anti-diarrheal medication to the defendant.

"I have Imodium in my chambers," she said.

Later in the morning's proceedings, the judge noted that Stone was looking unwell.

"Your client seems to have his eyes closed and his head in his hands. And I just want to make sure we should keep going," Jackson said.

Shortly after court reconvened following the lunch break, stone left the courthouse for the day.

The trial that could take two weeks or more, partly because of the amount of evidence may bring out new details about what former special counsel Robert Mueller found regarding the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Stone was arrested last January in an unexpected predawn raid at his home in Florida.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 06 2019. 10:43 IST