Thursday, April 14, 2005
In response to the government's request for a trial within the next two months on the severed bank fraud/false statement to a financial institution charges (see previous post here), Ken Lay has asked the court to try the bank fraud case together with the larger conspiracy/securities fraud charges next year, but have the judge rather than the jury decide them. This is an interesting strategic move by Lay, because trying all the charges together would free up the court's time (the always appealing judicial efficiency argument) and allows him to avoid a jury, which could get caught up in the swirl of the Enron debacle and simply convict him on every count. The problem Lay faces is that he quite publicly demanded a quick trial (the hoisting on one's own petard thing), and he requested the severance of the bank fraud charges, so Judge Sim Lake may grant his earlier wishes. A hearing is scheduled on the government's motion on April 21, and a Houston Chronicle story (here) discusses Lay's response.