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A panel of eight women and four men was selected Monday to judge Martha Stewart on obstruction of justice charges. Six alternates — four men and two women — were also sworn in. Jury selection came after the judge in the case agreed to a government motion limiting some of the arguments that Stewart’s defense team can make.

Among the limitations placed by Judge Miriam Goldman Cederbaum were the inability to say that the home decorating expert was being prosecuted for proclaiming her innocence in the case or for asserting her First Amendment right to free speech.

The defense also is barred from saying that the securities fraud charge Stewart faces is a novel application of securities laws, and from making statements that would tend to show the government’s motives in investigating or prosecuting Stewart were improper. The defense also can’t say that the fact Stewart and former broker Peter Bacanovic aren’t facing criminal insider trading charges means the government doesn’t believe they committed such a crime.

The judge was thinking about holding opening statements Monday, according to transcripts, but Stewart’s attorney objected and requested more time to prepare his opening statement based on the ruling of the motion.

The judge said she had no problem with delaying the opening statements until Tuesday.

CNNfn has learned that the government’s star witness, former Merrill Lynch brokerage assistant Doug Faneuil, will be the third person called by the prosecution and could testify as early as Tuesday.

The 28-year-old Faneuil pled guilty in October 2002 to misdemeanor charges of accepting perks to keep silent about an alleged inside stock tip given to Stewart.

Merrill Lynch fired Faneuil after his plea, and Bacanovic was fired for declining to cooperate with investigators looking at trading activity in the stock of ImClone Systems.

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.

One of the authors claiming Dan Brown’s bestseller The Da Vinci Code copied his ideas has admitted he exaggerated his case in an interview with a journalist.