Former Enron CEO set to testify

April 6, 2006 at 8:16 AM

HOUSTON, April 6 (UPI) -- The Houston trial of Enron Corp.'s former leaders is set to take an unusual turn as one of the defendants prepares to testify.

Former chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling, known for bluntness and impatience with people he deems intellectually inferior, was scheduled to testify Thursday at his fraud and conspiracy trial, the Washington Post reported.

That's a risky move, defense lawyers say, because it could shift the jury's attention from hard evidence to Skilling's persona.

Shortly after his indictment in 2004, passersby called New York City authorities to report Skilling behaving erratically. A judge eventually ordered him into alcohol-treatment and community-service programs.

Skilling's co-defendant, former chairman Ken Lay, also is expected to testify in the case, perhaps as early as next week.

Enron's 2001 collapse left thousands of employees without pensions and created a huge, though temporary, downdraft in the equity markets.

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