A HIGH Court jury was discharged a few minutes after it was empanelled because an expatriate juror remarked that he was appalled that every Chinese man called was objected to by defence counsel. While Deputy Judge Chan was of the view that one should not speculate on why a certain juror was selected, he decided to discharge the panel, holding that justice must be seen to be done. It was the second time in less than two weeks that jury problems had arisen before Deputy Judge Chan, who is handling the running criminal list in the High Court. On May 17, five jurors of a seven-member panel in his court claimed that the foreman had returned a verdict they had not deliberated on. The complaint was made after they left court. The judge had acquitted Chiu Wai-hoi, 39, of trafficking in heroin as well as an alternative charge of possession. The Legal Department, however, decided not to make an application to reconvene the jury. In yesterday's hearing, Chan Man-yung, 29, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of robbery involving 5,055 cameras and accessories worth $5.1 million. A jury of five women and two men was empanelled and told by Deputy Judge Chan to return today when the trial would commence. Before leaving the courtroom, an expatriate juror stood up and told the court that while he was not familiar with the jury system in Hongkong, he was appalled that every Chinese man in the batch called was challenged by defence counsel, but as a gweilo he was accepted. He was informed by the judge that defence counsel could challenge five potential jurors without giving reasons. However, the juror's remark led defence counsel Mr Robert Forrest to make an application to discharge the jury, which was granted by Deputy Judge Chan. But the judge, in discharging the jury, stressed that the decision did not mean any of the jurors were unfit to sit on the panel. He said a member of the jury had raised a question on why a certain juror was selected, but this was not something the court could comment on. The judge was of the view that in the interests of justice, a fresh jury should be empanelled.