April 30, 2005
Video? What video?

Defense attorneys in the Enron Broadband trial are claiming that a video which shows one former EBS executiva making false claims about the company's capabilities, was never shown to stock analysts, contrary to prosecution claims.

Defense attorney Tony Canales on Friday showed jurors video production records of a 2000 analyst meeting that did not reference the taped presentation that was shown to the jury on Tuesday.

He also introduced into evidence raw video footage taken of the entire Jan. 20, 2000, conference in Houston that he says proves the tape was never shown there.

But U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore ruled that the raw video could not be shown to jurors until Monday, after the prosecution team had a chance to review it.

The Enron Task Force has said it will not comment while the trial is ongoing.

Throughout the 2000 presentation, video speeches of company technology experts were played to explain to analysts the capabilities and business plans of Enron Broadband Services.

Jurors on Tuesday saw two brief video segments that featured Rex Shelby, the former senior vice president of engineering and operations for EBS, who is one of the five executives currently on trial.

The first segment focused on the Enron broadband network, which had some technical capabilities. The second was of Shelby touting current capabilities of operating-system software that prosecutors maintain never worked.

Canales, who represents Scott Yeager, a former vice president of the Internet division, claims the latter segment was inserted sometime after the conference.


Under questioning Friday, Ken Rice, the former co-CEO of EBS, maintained the tape was indeed shown to analysts at the conference.

Rice, who is cooperating with the government as part of a plea agreement, told jurors Tuesday he had seen the Shelby video at the conference and at the time was "surprised that it was so consistently present ... because I knew we hadn't created that."

That's a pretty big claim by the defense. If they can back it up, it'll blow a huge hole in the prosecution's case. There's a risk here, though, which is that I think juries are pretty skeptical of claims about evidence being tampered with. If the jury doesn't buy the defense's claim, I think they'll be much more likely to convict. Stay tuned.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 30, 2005 to Enronarama | TrackBack