Former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling is expected to give his much-anticipated testimony in his fraud and conspiracy trial today. And the stakes may be just as high for the government as they are for the one-time corporate star.
For Skilling, it's his chance to show jurors he is not a devious liar who spearheaded a massive fraud.
For prosecutors, it's a chance to drive home their contention that he is.
Skilling's co-defendant, Enron founder Kenneth Lay, aims to testify later this month.
Both are accused of repeatedly lying to investors and employees about Enron's financial health. Prosecutors say they allegedly knew fraudulent accounting and weak business ventures lurked under the surface of their public optimism.
The two men say there was no fraud at Enron other than a few executives who skimmed millions from secret schemes.
They say bad publicity coupled with lost market confidence shoved the company into bankruptcy protection in December 2001.