Defense rests in trial of Lay and Skilling

The jury hearing the trial of former Enron bosses Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay
will begin next week to deliberate over whether they believe the defendants’
testimony or the government’s claims that the two men are guilty of fraud and
conspiracy in the company’s spectacular collapse.

Both the defense and the prosecution are due to start presenting their
closing arguments on Monday next week (15 May), before a jury comprising eight
women and four men.

Yesterday, the defense rested after more than 15 weeks in court during which
a parade of government witnesses, including many former employees of the company
testified that both Lay and Skilling played a part in the misrepresentation of
Enron’s financial health to investors and Wall Street.

Skilling and Lay both took the stand denying all charges and claiming they
believed the company was in a healthy state when they left. They placed the
majority of the blame at the feet of former Enron CFO, Andrew Fastow, now jailed
for his part in the company’s collapse.

Enron’s founder Lay and former chief executive Skilling were positive on
leaving court.

‘We feel real good. We think… we’re going to prevail,’ Lay said on Monday.

Enron suddenly collapsed in 2001 with debts of $32bn (£18bn).

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