Former WorldCom Inc. chief Bernard Ebbers asked a federal judge on Wednesday to toss out the charges against him and to grant immunity to two of his former subordinates.
Ebbers faces trial in November on charges of securities fraud, conspiracy and falsifying regulatory filings in the collapse of WorldCom, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
He asked U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones to grant immunity to former chief operating officer Ronald Beaumont and Ronaldo Lomenzo, the former head of revenue accounting.
In papers filed in Manhattan federal court, Ebbers suggested the pair could provide testimony helpful to his case but would not testify for the defense without immunity from prosecution.
The filing said Beaumont and Lomenzo could establish that former WorldCom finance chief Scott Sullivan, not Ebbers, made the final call on accounting decisions charged as crimes in the federal indictment against them.
Sullivan has pleaded guilty to fraud charges and agreed to testify against Ebbers.
Ebbers also said the charges against him should be dropped because they are not specific enough and do not accuse him of accounting that was out of line with "generally accepted accounting procedures."
Prosecutors are expected to oppose the motion.
Ebbers also asked the judge to delay his trial until February 2005. The former chief executive is scheduled to appear before the judge Oct. 12 for pretrial arguments.