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The Enron Barge Case: What Others Are Saying
Sep 19, 2010
In my last blog post, “When Only Ayn Rand Says It All,” I promised to say more about the continuing prosecution of James Brown as part of the infamous Nigerian Barge case—the first of the Enron cases to go to trial back in 2004. In the event, my attempt to fulfill that promise grew in length and is now posted on the home page of the Business Rights Center as an editorial entitled: ”Let’s Jail Prosecutors Who ‘“Obstruct Justice.’”
Here, I will just note that a number of other bloggers have posted worthwhile comments on the recent turn of events in Brown’s case.
Defense lawyer Tom Kirkendall of Houston’s Clear Thinkers is always the go-to man on this case. See his blog post “Your Justice Department at Work.”
But Professor Larry Ribstein, now of “Truth on the Market,” is the perpetual runner. See his “The Dregs of the Enron Case.”
Christine Hurt, at “The Conglomerate,” has “The End of the Enron Nigerian Barge Case.”
But the usually reliable Ellen S. Podgor, of White Collar Crime Prof Blog, seems to have missed the central point in her blog post “The Government ‘Finally”Dismisses Charges in Enron Barge Case.” The prosecution did not “wait right up to the trial date” to ask for a dismissal of charges. It waited right up to the trial date to ask for an indefinite continuance, and it got exposed for playing games with the court and the defendant. With its motion for a continuance rejected, the government was unable to proceed to trial. That’s why it asked for a dismissal.
Unfortunately, Christine Hurt also errs in the title of her blog post. The Nigerian Barge Case has not yet reached its end even now. Brown’s perjury and obstruction convictions remain, and he could yet be sent back to prison. Given what the government has done to him and his family, that should be absolutely unthinkable. But it is not. So, I will take a look at those convictions later this week.