HOUSTON May 25 Former Enron Corp Chief
Executive Jeffrey Skilling is reviving his quest for a new trial
based on evidence his legal team received from prosecutors long
after he was convicted of 19 counts of conspiracy, securities
fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors.
U.S. District Judge Sim Lake in Houston, who presided over
Skilling's 2006 trial following the bankruptcy of the once
high-flying energy company, on Friday gave the go-ahead to his
legal team to seek a new trial.
Enron crumbled in December 2001 after years of hidden debt
and shaky finances fell apart. Skilling, 58, is serving a
24-year sentence on his conviction. Last month the U.S. Supreme
Court refused to hear his latest appeal.
His lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, told Lake that the evidence
included notes taken by FBI agents and U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission lawyers during pre-trial interviews with
various prosecution witnesses.
Lake said he needed to assess what prosecutors gave
Skilling's lawyers before trial as well to determine whether the
new evidence is weighty enough to warrant a new trial.
"My recollection is that there were millions of documents
provided by the government," he said.
Petrocelli said he would have to summarize what the defense
team had, but Lake said given the volume, a summary wouldn't be
enough. Petrocelli will confer with prosecutors to agree on a
format before he files a new trial request in late summer or
The Supreme Court heard Skilling's first appeal in 2010,
invalidated one of several theories used by prosecutors to prove
his guilt, and sent the case back to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court
of Appeals for a review.
The 5th Circuit upheld his conviction, as it had once
before, and ruled that the verdict would have been the same
based on evidence and other prosecution theories.
Brian Wice, an appellate attorney in Houston who has
followed Skilling's case, told Reuters on Friday that the latest
effort could mean a third round of arguments before Lake, the
appeals court and another effort to reach the Supreme Court.
"In reality, though, it could be a very abbreviated
journey," Wice said. "I want to give him major props for