Entertainer Rolf Harris and his wife Alwen Hughes arrive at
Southwark Crown Court in central London. REUTERS/Stefan
Potential jurors in the Rolf Harris sex abuse trial in
Britain have been told evidence will include events that
happened in New Zealand and Australia.
The 84-year-old entertainer is facing historical sex charges
against young girls and teenagers in London's Southern Crown
He denies 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls
between the ages of eight and 19, said to have taken place
from 1968 to 1986, The Independent reported.
A jury for the high profile trial was being selected today.
Trial judge Mr Justice Sweeney told the court the evidence
included events in New Zealand and Australia and anyone with
family or close friends there would not be eligible to sit on
"A fair trial is the right of all in this country. To state
the obvious, the role of the jury is a vitally important one
in ensuring the fulfilment of that right."
The jury should have no connection with the case, so that
they were "able to reach true verdicts based on the evidence
rather than on any preconceived ideas, beliefs or
prejudices", he said.
The trial would begin as soon as the jury was sworn in, and
was expected to take more than six weeks, The Independent
Harris was born in Australia but has lived in the village of
Bray, in Berkshire, for more than 50 years.
He has received a number of honours and was made Officer of
the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours in
The musician had his first hit with the song "Tie Me Kangaroo
Down, Sport"in 1960, and continued to enjoy success in the
industry as well as forging a television career.
In 2005, he painted a portrait of the Queen and performed at
her Diamond Jubilee concert.
Harris has been granted conditional bail, and was not being
kept in custody during the trial, The Independent reported.