Monday, December 5, 2005
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)
Sunday, December 4, 2005
It is nice to see that the Antitrust Division of DOJ is not requiring a waiver of attorney-client privilege on its plea agreement with Samsung Electronics Company, LTD and Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. The plea agreement here specifically notes in two places in the cooperation portion of the agreement that it requires production of "non-privileged documents, . . ." It may not be a deferred prosecution agreement, but it is nice to see a branch of the justice department respecting the attorney-client privilege.
As noted here, the SEC dismissed the fraud counts against Richard Scrushy, former CEO of HealthSouth. But also noted is that although Scrushy was found not guilty in his federal trial brought by the government, there are now new federal charges in the Middle District of Alabama against him, this time he has a co-defendant, the former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.
With everything going on with respect to Richard Scrushy it was therefore easy to miss the announcement that the trial documents in the Scrushy case had been unsealed. This is especially true when it came the Wednesday right before Thanksgiving. We gave you a stay tuned back on September 7th here.
So what's there? According to the Birmingham News here, it looks like much about nothing. But one has to wonder how the government could be objecting to the defense calling Emery Harris as a witness at Scrushy's trial when they did exactly that in the trial of Hannibal "Sonny" Crumpler.