Monday, December 5, 2005

Prosecutors Disclose the Witness List for the Enron Conspiracy Trial

The Enron Task Force disclosed its witness list for the Enron conspiracy trial and stated that it will likely cut down from the 89 names disclosed.  I'd certainly hope prosecutors will call fewer witnesses than that, or the trial will drag on for months rather than weeks and test severely the patience of the twelve citizens (plus alternates) picked for the jury.  Among those on the witness list are, as expected, former CFO Andrew Fastow and former Treasurer Ben Glisan.  Other former Enron executives who entered guilty pleas and who may be called are Tim Belden, Jeffrey Richter, Paula Rieker, Mark Koenig, Christopher Calger, David Delainey and Ken Rice (see the Houston Chronicle Enron Scorecard here for background on the witnesses). 

Interestingly, one witness not on the list is former Arthur Andersen audit partner Dave Duncan, who recently filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.  As noted in an earlier post (here), prosecutors did not oppose Duncan's motion, and if granted by the court, he is unlikely to be available as a witness for either side at the trial due to the availability of the Fifth Amendment privilege because the government now could use his testimony against him in a future prosecution.  Of course, Duncan's statements made to other witnesses could be used at trial if the government can establish that he was a member of the conspiracy that included defendant's Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, and Richard Causey. A Houston Chronicle story (here) discusses the government's disclosure of the witness list. (ph)

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