Skilling Continues his Defense

Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling continues his defense at the Enron fraud and conspiracy trial. Houston Public Radio's Ed Mayberry reports. Aired 4/12/06 during the KUHF Morning Business Report.

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Former CEO Jeff Skilling went point-by-point over some of the government's accusations, discounting each one. He said he never asked anyone at Enron to cheat, lie or engage in misleading transactions, and he's never seen documents or e-mails suggesting otherwise. Skilling also said Enron did not have artificial mandates for growth, as alleged by government witnesses.

Skilling said he never signed off on a government filing knowing there were inaccuracies or false statements within them, and he relied on accountants, lawyers and other experts to ensure that the filings were accurate.

Many witnesses who've reached plea deals with the government, in exchange for their cooperation, have said Skilling and Enron founder Ken Lay broke the law. Skilling said those witnesses, except for former Chief Financial Officer Andy Fastow, are not guilty of crimes. Fastow has admitted to bilking money from Enron.

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake told the jury about defense attorney Mike Ramsey's recent heart procedure. Whether or not the jury had noticed Ramsey's absence, the judge's remarks were the first official word to the court about it.

Skilling takes the stand again this morning to continue defense questioning.

Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.

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