Enron Trial: Ken Lay's Third Day on the Stand

Enron founder Ken Lay blamed negative news articles for Enron's collapse. Houston Public Radio's Ed Mayberry reports. Aired 4/26/06 during the KUHF Morning Business Report.

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Lay said even with a billion dollar accounting error in late 2001, Enron wasstill fundamentally strong. He said he was being told by department headsthat the third quarter looked good, so he told employees in a late Septemberonline forum they should continue buying and talking up Enron stock.

But Lay said negative Wall Street Journal articles and the departure ofChief Financial Officer Andy Fastow, combined with re-stated financials in apost-nine-eleven atmosphere, contributed to Enron's downfall.

The prosecution expects to start its cross examination today and predictsre-direct and re-cross will happen on Monday. The Lay defense expects tocall four character witnesses, including Drayton McLane, Junior. ThenSkilling's team will call three expert witnesses. The defense expects torest sometime in the second week of May, then the government's rebuttalstarts, before both sides do closing arguments. Jury instructions anddeliberations could happen in the fourth week of May. U.S. District JudgeSim Lake voiced concern about keeping on schedule, and may extend days andshorten lunch breaks to speed things along.

Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.

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