Jurors in the trial of a former suspect in Stephen Lawrence’s murder have been warned they should only consider allegations over a conspiracy to supply cannabis.
Jamie Acourt, 42, originally from Eltham, south-east London, will go on trial at Kingston Crown Court accused of being part of a two-year plot to sell the Class B drug.
Judge Peter Lodder QC asked jurors on Wednesday to notify him if they were serving or retired members of the Metropolitan Police, or if they felt they could not fairly try the defendant.
“The defendant in this case is Jamie Acourt. His name may be familiar to you because it has been alleged that he played a part in the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993,” he told jurors.
“He has never been convicted of any offence arising out of the investigation arising out of that death.
“This trial is solely concerned with the allegation of conspiracy to supply cannabis during the years 2014 to 2016.
“If there is a reason you do not feel that you can try this case fairly then you should indicate.”
No jurors raised any issues and 12 were sworn in.
Acourt has always denied involvement in the racist attack, in which a group of white men fatally stabbed the black 18-year-old in Eltham.
The 42-year-old – who appeared in court wearing a man bun, a beard and a long dark coat – has pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to supply cannabis resin between January 1 2014 and February 2 2016.
Six others, including his 43-year-old brother Neil Acourt, have already been convicted and sentenced over the hashish plot.
Jamie Acourt, currently of no fixed address, was arrested in Spain in May after a joint operation by the National Crime Agency, Crimestoppers and Spanish authorities.
The trial was due to open on Wednesday.