Federal prosecutor John Hueston conducted a dramatic cross-examination of former Enron Corp. Chairman Kenneth Lay in his fraud trial Thursday, challenging the defendant’s claim that short sellers and the media caused the company’s downfall, his touting of the struggling energy services unit and his failure to tell investors that he had sold stock back to the company.

In what’s become Hueston fashion, the Assistant U.S. Attorney displayed on a big screen in front of the jury one of the company’s mantras, “Relations with the company’s many publics … will be conducted in honesty, candor and fairness.”

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