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Judge Dismisses Four Counts in Enron Trial

A federal judge has dismissed one of seven counts against Ken Lay and three of the 31 counts against Jeff Skilling. Federal prosecutors rested their case today in the fraud and conspiracy trial, as we hear from Houston Public Radio Business Reporter Ed Mayberry. U.S. District Judge Sim Lake dropped two counts of securities fraud […]

A federal judge has dismissed one of seven counts against Ken Lay and three of the 31 counts against Jeff Skilling. Federal prosecutors rested their case today in the fraud and conspiracy trial, as we hear from Houston Public Radio Business Reporter Ed Mayberry.

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake dropped two counts of securities fraud against Jeff Skilling and one of lying to auditors, leaving him with 28 counts against him. The judge dropped one securities fraud count against Ken Lay, leaving six counts. The Enron Task Force said it moved to dismiss certain counts for the purpose of economy, but defense attorney Daniel Petrocelli said there are other reasons.

Petrocelli said the government has been parading witnesses with opinions, but no documents back up their assertions.

Lay’s attorney Mike Ramsey said it would be easier to tell Lay and Skilling’s side of the story if witnesses weren’t afraid to testify.

The defense opens its case on Monday. The government presented 22 witnesses since testimony began February 1st, including eight former executives with plea deals or an immunity deal. The defense has pared down its witness list to about 100 from more than twice that. About a fourth of them are expected to testify, including Lay and Skilling themselves. Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.

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