Ex-Enron chiefs appeal rejection of trial venue change

[JURIST] Enron [JURIST news archive] founder Kenneth Lay [Houston Chronicle profile] and ex-CEO Jeffrey Skilling [Houston Chronicle profile] on Wednesday asked the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] to reverse its rejection of their motion to change the venue of their trial for fraud and conspiracy and to suspend the trial pending the appeal. Without hearing oral arguments, US District Court Judge Sim Lake of the Southern District of Texas [official website] on Monday rejected [JURIST report] their second request [JURIST news report] to move the trial out of Houston, where lawyers for the defendants allege they cannot get a fair trial because of jury pool contamination. Lawyers base the claims on questionnaires from potential jurors that contained negative statements about the defendants and the guilty plea [JURIST document] by former co-defendant Richard Causey [Houston Chronicle profile], which postponed [JURIST report] the trial for two weeks. Jury selection in the trial is set to begin Monday. AP has more.

 

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