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The jury hearing David Bain's retrial on five charges of murder had yesterday free because of extended legal argument about issues in the case in the High Court at Christchurch.
Yesterday was the 32nd day of the hearing of 37-year-old David Cullen Bain's second trial for the murder of his family at their Dunedin home on June 20, 1994.
The seven women and five men trying the case before Justice Graham Panckhurst were to have returned to court at 2.15pm yesterday after an early finish last Friday.
But during submissions in a closed court yesterday morning, it became apparent more time was needed to cover the issues involved and the judge said the jurors would not be required until 10am today.
Although none of yesterday's legal argument could be reported, members of the media were allowed to be present throughout the hearing.
The public was excluded.
The upstairs public gallery was locked and a notice on the door said the court was closed "due to pre-trial arguments" and that the trial would recommence at 10am on April 28.
Bain denies killing his father Robin, mother Margaret, sisters Arawa and Laniet and younger brother Stephen, all of whom were shot with David Bain's Winchester .22 rifle.
He said he found his family all dead when he returned from his early morning paper round.
Since Robin Bates opened the prosecution case on March 6, evidence has been heard from about 120 of the Crown's 140-plus witnesses.
The prosecution expects to take about another two weeks to complete its case.
Defence counsel will then set out its contentions in detail before calling evidence on Bain's behalf.
The court has been told between 40 and 60 witnesses could be called by the defence.