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Jury selection begins in Coke trade secrets theft case

ATLANTA - One hundred potential jurors filed into a federal courtroom Tuesday for the start of the conspiracy trial of a former Coca-Cola secretary accused of stealing trade secrets from the world's largest beverage maker in an effort to sell them to rival Pepsi.

The potential jurors answered questions from U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester about whether they work for or have relatives who work for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, then filled out a questionnaire drafted by the lawyers in the case and were sent home for the day.

Individual questioning of potential jurors by the defense lawyers and prosecutors will begin

today, and opening statements are scheduled for Monday. The trial is expected to last up to two weeks.

Joya Williams, who was fired from her job as an administrative assistant to Coca-Cola's global brand director after the allegations came to light, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the single federal charge against her. She has pleaded not guilty. Two co-defendants have pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and at least one is expected to testify against her.