Enron Trial

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Defense lawyers at the Enron trial begin their case today.

The cornerstone of their case will be testimony from former executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling. Skilling will be the first of the two to sit in the witness chair and could begin testifying this week.

The government claims both Skilling and Ken Lay repeatedly lied to investors and employees about Enron's strength while accounting tricks covered up massive losses.

Skilling and Lay say no fraud occurred other than a few executives skimming (m) millions from secret scams. They say bad publicity and lost market confidence caused the company's collapse.

Prosecutors rested their case last week after calling 22 witnesses and presenting piles of documents and hours of videotapes and audiotapes.

Skilling faces 28 counts of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors, while Lay faces six counts of fraud and conspiracy.