Opening arguments to be heard in Anderson shredding trial

May 6, 2002 — Former Enron auditor Arthur Andersen LLP will face a criminal trial in the next few weeks as opening arguments are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Jury selection was in Houston federal court Monday for the trial that accuses the embattled auditing firm of obstruction of justice by destroying important Enron documents and information needed to resolve investigations into the failure of the energy giant, Associated Press reported.

To win the case, prosecutors must prove that Andersen employees were acting in concert with company policy or on company orders.

Andersen defense lawyers were denied their bid to delay the trial because of publicity.

The Securities and Exchange Commission was collecting documents last year for its investigation of accounting practices that may have caused Enron’s downfall.
Andersen accountant David Duncan has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for ordering that the documents be destroyed.

The trial will probably last about three weeks.

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