Enron trial will not be delayed
Request by company's founder and former CEO for week-long delay denied by U.S. district judge.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - A judge has denied a request by Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling for a week-long delay in their trial.
Lay and Skilling had made the request after co-defendant Richard Causey changed his plea to guilty.
Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 30.
On Wednesday, the defense appealed the judge's rejection of their motion to move their trial outside of Houston, where they said they could not get an impartial jury.
Defense attorneys in the case have argued that their clients wouldn't receive a fair trial in Enron's hometown of Houston.
"Too much money has been spent on both sides and my feeling is that the company can get a fair trial given the diverse amount of people in Houston," said Jacob Zamansky, a former prosecutor that now runs a private practice representing investors.
Lawyers for Lay and Skilling have argued that 80 percent of the potential jurors harbored negative opinions about the two men, and that publicity surrounding the plea deal of a co-defendant had further hurt their chances to get a fair trial.
The trial was originally scheduled for Jan. 17 but the defense was granted a delay after former Enron accounting chief Richard Causey pled guilty to securities fraud in late December. Causey is widely expected to join former chief financial officer Andrew Fastow and testify against his former bosses.
Defense attorneys have publicly asserted that Causey pleaded guilty due to financial duress and they're confident that if he were to testify for the government, his testimony could back up their defense, that there was no blatant fraud perpetrated by Lay and Skilling.
For a complete look at the Enron drama, click here.
For all the latest headlines in Newsmakers, click here.