Blago judge dismisses more would-be jurors -

Blago judge dismisses more would-be jurors

CHICAGO (AP) -- U.S. District Judge James Zagel has completed another day of jury selection, saying opening statements in the retrial of Rod Blagojevich could begin early next week.

Zagel questioned more than 20 potential panelists Tuesday and dismissed about half. Afterward, he said it looked like opening arguments may start Monday.

A state prosecutor and a chef who thought Rod Blagojevich was guilty are among those kept in the pool for the ex-governor's corruption retrial. Despite the chef's comments, Zagel said he believed he could be fair.

Zagel also rejected a defense request to dismiss the prosecutor on grounds she'll feel affinity for fellow prosecutors.

Around 35 are in the jury pool -- short of the 40 Zagel wants before making final decisions. Zagel may devote part of Wednesday to jury selection.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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