Defense to Present Closing Arguments in Enron Trial

The government has presented its closing argument, and now the defense will have its final word in the fraud and conspiracy trial of Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. Houston Public Radio's Ed Mayberry reports. Aired 5/16/06 during the KUHF Morning Business News Report.

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Skilling attorney Daniel Petrocelli will lead off this morning's closing arguments for the defense, followed by four attorneys-- including the recuperating Mike Ramsey--speaking for Lay. Prosecutor Sean Berkowitz gets a three-hour rebuttal on Wednesday, and then the case goes to the jury.

Prosecutor Kathryn Ruemmler told jurors that Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling repeatedly lied to employees and investors about Enron's financial health, knowing that unsustainable accounting tricks gave the illusion of success.

Lay attorney Mike Ramsey talked with reporters after hearing prosecutors present final arguments.

U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake earlier read his jury instructions--a 50-page document—as a guide for deliberations that are expected to begin Wednesday. Judge Lake told the jury it must be proved that the defendants knowingly intended to defraud. Lay and Skilling have testified that no fraud occurred at Enron, other than a few executives who skimmed millions from side deals.

Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.

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