A federal court Tuesday ruled that former Enron Corp. chairman Ken Lay should be tried alongside former executives Jeffrey Skilling and Richard Causey on charges linked to the disgraced energy company's collapse.
The ruling handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake denied requests by the three ex-Enron executives to be tried separately for the dozens of charges of conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and insider trading they face.
No trial date has been set, and defense lawyers for former Chief Executive Skilling and former Chief Accounting Officer Causey have said they will need months to sort through millions of pages of documents handed over to them by prosecutors.
In his ruling, Judge Lake said motions to split the case into three trials were denied because the defendants failed to show there was a risk that a joint trial would compromise the defendants' rights or prevent a jury from making a judgmentabout guilt or innocence.
For those reasons, "the court concludes that the defendants have failed to demonstrate that the charges against them ... should be severed," Judge Lake wrote.
However, four charges against Lay for bank fraud and false statements to banks regarding personal loans made to him were severed from the case and will have to be tried separately.