Friday, January 13, 2006

Neither Pornography Nor Naughty Words at the Enron Conspiracy Trial

With the Enron conspiracy trial of former CEOs Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling set to begin on Jan. 30, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake is digging through the motions related to the conduct of trial.  While a bit disappointing to those of us with our minds in the gutter, Judge Lake rejected requests by the defense to use claimed pornography found on former CFO (and likely key witness) Andrew Fastow's computer to impeach him, nor can the government use a tape laced with profanity related to the California energy crisis on which Enron made quite a bit of money.  The judge even said that references to witnesses engaging the services of prostitutes, having extra-marital affairs, or using drugs would also be largely off-limits.  This means the trial will focus on such mundane matters as fraud, disclosure, and accounting, and the cross-examination of government witnesses like Fastow and Michael Kopper will have to focus on their siphoning off millions of dollars from Enron, including deals by Fastow that occurred in 1997.  Oh well, the accounting issues will just have to keep our interest.  A Houston Chronicle story (here) discusses the judge's rulings on pre-trial motions. (ph)

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