Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Enron Trial Delayed

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein has agreed to postpone the Enron criminal trial for a month. The delay is a result of a superseded indictment of the six defendants in the Nigerian barge case.

Included in the new indictment are allegations that a scheme to pretend Enron sold Nigerian barges caused the loss of more than $80 million. The new indictment also alleges some common sentencing factor enhancements such as monetary loss, role in the offense and betrayal of public and private trust.

The government has asked for a bifurcated trial, where after the jury decides guilt or innocence, the jury would also deliberate on the relevant sentencing factors. The Houston Chronicle reports that Judge Werlein is likely to grant the government's request.

This is an interesting development, because this case is being tried in Texas, which is in the 5th Circuit. Looks like the government is buying some Blakely insurance.

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