The trial of Reiser who is accused of killing Nina Reiser despite her body never being found was expected to start Monday, however opening statements are now set for Nov. 5.
Reiser's attorney, William DuBois, said the move is due to concerns about potential prejudicial information in an upcoming television segment on the case to be featured on ABC TV's 20/20 program on Nov. 2. DuBois said the 20/20 team interviewed Hans Reiser with his permission. DuBois sat in on the interview, although he wasn't interviewed on camera himself.
Paul Hora, deputy district attorney handling the Reiser case, said in his mind the delay has nothing to do with the 20/20 feature.
"The jury knows they are to stay away from reading or watching all media reports on the case," Hora said. "They're aware if they do not do that, they will be dismissed."
The 12-person jury with four alternates was finalized Wednesday morning.
Hora said the delay was simply a case of having more pretrial motions needing to be heard. Both the defense and prosecution are expected to be back in court Monday for more pretrial motions.
"I don't think there's anything sexy" about the delay, Hora said. "I think it was mainly because we had more pretrial motions.
DuBois, however, added there was another reasons for the delay. He said Alameda County Juvenile Court officials had been refusing to turn over the file of the custody case involving the Reisers' children, 8-year-old Rory and 6-year-old Nio. DuBois said Juvenile Court officials turned down repeated requests for the file from prosecutor Paul Hora who denies the claim but finally agreed to hand it over after Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman, who is presiding over Reiser's trial, asked them to comply Tuesday.
DuBois said he wants to review 400-page file because it contains about 70 letters that Reiser has exchanged with his children and has many comments about the case.
Nina Reiser, 31, disappeared Sept. 3, 2006, after dropping off the couple's two children at Hans Reiser's home in Oakland's Montclair District.
Hans Reiser, a 43-year-old computer science engineer, and Nina Reiser, who was trained as a gynecologist in her native Russia, married in 1999, but separated in May of 2004. They were undergoing contentious divorce proceedings at the time she disappeared, but the divorce wasn't finalized.
Nina Reiser was awarded both legal and physical custody of their children, but Hans Reiser was allowed to have them one weeknight a week and every other weekend.
Prosecutors charged Hans Reiser with his wife's murder in October 2006, despite no body ever turning up. Oakland police said they found biological and trace evidence suggesting that she is dead as well as blood evidence tying Reiser to her death.
Reiser currently is being held in custody without bail.
The couple's two children were placed in foster care after Nina Reiser disappeared. They currently are living with Nina Reiser's mother in Russia.