Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Whose Evidence Is It Anyway?

As detailed in Tom Kirkendall's Houston's Clear Thinkers Blog (which is always an interesting read, especially on Enron developments), the Enron Broadband Services trial (see earlier post here) took a decidedly odd, and potentially devastating, turn when the prosecution's key witness started to backtrack about what was said at an analysts presentation in 2000.  An important piece of the government's case involves a videotape of the presentation, in which the allegedly false statements were made by some of the defendants.  The government witness is Ken Rice, former co-CEO of Enron Broadband Services who entered a guilty plea and it testifying for the government.  Tom writes(here):

At any rate, the defense's raw footage video came into evidence this morning, and the defense showed the raw footage video side-by-side to the prosecution's video from which Mr. Rice had previously testified during direct examination. It turns out that the prosecution video of the analysts' conference is different in material respects from the raw footage video and that the prosecution's video -- contrary to Mr. Rice's testimony on direct -- contained footage of Mr. Shelby making statements that was not shown to the analysts at the conference.

Well, as you might expect, Mr. Rice is in full retreat today as Mr. Canales and other defense attorneys hammer him on why he previously testified that Mr. Shelby had made statements at the analysts' conference that he actually did not make.

Given that the government provided the raw video footage to the defense, it's hard to figure out quite how it got caught so flat footed. (ph)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2005/05/whose_evidence_.html

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