Discrepancies are not unusual, and do not mean that Mr. Fastow or Mr. Kopper is lying. But they do open up areas that defense lawyers could use to challenge Mr. Fastow’s credibility on cross-examination.
Mr. Kopper, who has pleaded guilty to felonies, was a crucial government witness in the 2004 trial of a group of former executives with Merrill Lynch & Company and Enron who worked on an illegal deal in 1999 known as the Nigerian barge transaction. Five of the six defendants in the case were convicted.
Mr. Fastow testified yesterday that he dismissed the idea of the barge deal out of hand when it was raised by Jeffrey K. Skilling, who at the time was Enron’s president, because of concerns of how potential investors in LJM2 would react.
But in his testimony a year and a half ago, Mr. Kopper described Mr. Fastow as an eager proponent of the transaction — at least at first — as an opportunity for LJM2.
As described by Mr. Kopper, Mr. Fastow discussed the idea of the barge investment without mentioning a commitment by Mr. Skilling that LJM2 would not lose money.