The Mix

The Enron show: Courtroom update

A brief look at some of the hi (and low) jinks of the testimony thus far
Yesterday, federal prosecutors rested their case in the Enron trial. We now have a week to steel ourselves for the really good stuff: Next Monday marks the start of the defense's story-spinning. That means we get to hear from Skilling and Lay who are both itching to take the stand.

Here's a look back at some of the interesting courtroom drama in the past few weeks:

  • Jeff Skilling's lawyer Daniel Petrocelli to the jury: "In 1999, [Skilling] had more money than he ever dreamed of having. So why would he do it? What is Jeff Skilling's motive?"


  • Lawyer Petrocelli to former Enron CFO Andy Fastow (who pled guilty to fraud charges and testified against Skilling): "You must be consumed with an insatiable greed -- is that fair to say?"


  • Former Enron executive Paula Rieker testified, "Mr. Lay was using Enron as a damn ATM machine."


  • Whistleblower Sherron Watkins recalled an employee's memo she showed Lay that read, " I wish we would get caught, we are such a crooked company."


  • Former Enron Treasurer Ben Glisan Jr. "described his presentation…to the finance committee of Enron's board…Then-Chief Accounting Officer Richard Causey explained that the structure had some 'accounting risk,' but outside auditors had approved it. Then he said Lay giggled.

    'In what sense?' prosecutor Kathryn Ruemmler asked. 'In delight,' Glisan replied. At that, Lay turned to his daughter, Elizabeth Vittor, one of the lawyers at the defense table, and said, 'I giggled?'"

    Lay's lawyer, Bruce Collins, responded: "I've gotten to know Mr. Lay pretty well. He may chuckle, he doesn't giggle."
Onnesha Roychoudhuri is an assistant editor at AlterNet.
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