Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos and Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi went on trial Monday on charges of siphoning more than $100 million from the Asian nation's treasury into New York real estate and art.

"I'm a Philippine citizen, I should be tried in my home country, the republic of the Philippines, before the Philippine people," Marcos told reporters as jury selection began in a federal court."If I am to be tried here I would like to be tried like an ordinary citizen," said Marcos, who was accused with her late husband, Ferdinand, of looting the Philippine treasury.

The portly Khashoggi, nattily dressed in a blue suit, traveled to court from his apartment by subway.

Asked how he felt, the stoic multimillionaire replied, "I would rather be in Mecca, praying."

Asked if he thought he had been betrayed by the United States, Khashoggi said, "Not yet." Will he prevail? "I think so. I have confidence in American justice."

U.S. District Judge John Keenan said he hoped a pool of 150 potential jurors could be whittled down to a panel of 12 with six alternates.

Monday, Spence said he would call former President Ronald Reagan or his wife, Nancy, as witnesses.

"Much of the defense information will come from the lips of the President (Reagan)," he said. "He is a substantive witness. Ronald Reagan knows many matters first hand in this case. He was a close friend to President Marcos. He was close to Mrs. Marcos."

Marcos is charged with fraud and obstruction of justice in the racketeering scheme and faces up to 50 years if convicted of the charges against her.

Khashoggi, 54, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of obstruction of justice and fraud.