Jury Hearing from Enron's Former General Counsel

The jury is hearing testimony from Enron's former general counsel. Then Jeff Skilling will take the stand in the fraud and conspiracy trial he's sharing with Enron founder Ken Lay. Houston Public Radio's Ed Mayberry has a report. Aired 4/6/06 during the KUHF Morning Business Report.

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The defense is preparing to call Jeff Skilling to the stand today. But first, former Enron general counsel John Derrick finishes his testimony.

Derrick hired Houston law firm Vinson & Elkins to investigate the Raptor side deals with Andy Fastow's LJM partnerships in late 2001. Ken Lay ordered the investigation after the famous Sherron Watkins memo that raised concerns about accounting fraud. Watkins didn't want the company's usual lawyers or accountants to investigate because they were being paid hefty fees by Enron, and had previously signed off on what she called questionable deals.

Earlier, V&E attorney Max Hendrick, who conducted the probe, said Enron executives told him they were unaware of agreements guaranteeing Fastow would not lost money in deals between Enron and the LJM partnerships. But he conceded that memos and e-mails were not reviewed and there were no requests for documents. And not all top executives were interviewed.

Attorneys and prosecutors indicate Derrick has a few more hours on the stand before Skilling is called.

Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.

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