HOUSTON -- Enron founder Kenneth Lay's trial on charges related to his personal banking will be held next year, a judge decided yesterday.
Lay is accused of lying to banks about his intention to use their loans to buy Enron stock on margin before the company crashed in December 2001. Prosecutors had wanted the trial to begin as early as next month.
''The desire to try this case fairly outweighs expedition," US District Judge Sim Lake said.
Lay said in court papers last week and repeated in court yesterday that he wanted Lake to hear and decide the banking case at the same time that jurors are deliberating the verdict of a larger fraud and conspiracy case pending against him, former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling and former top accountant Richard Causey.
That trial is slated to begin in January and is expected to last several months.
Prosecutors expressed concern that Lay may decide later he wants a jury trial on the bank charges. Lake questioned Lay to make sure he understood he was giving up his right to a jury trial.