A prosecution witness seemed to help the defense Thursday in the federal fraud trial of former Enron Corp. executives Jeffrey Skilling, the ex-CEO, and Kenneth Lay, founder and former chairman.

Kenneth Rice, who was CEO of the energy-trading company’s broadband unit from 1999 to 2001, agreed with Skilling’s attorney, Mark Holscher of O’Melveny & Myers, that many of Enron’s earnings-boosting schemes were legal and that his division, Enron Broadband Services, was better off without a Blockbuster Inc. contract.

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