Ebbers trial halted 'till Wednesday

Sullivan faces cross-examination

Defence lawyers in the WorldCom fraud trial will have to wait until Wednesday to cross examine star witness Scott Sullivan after Judge Barbara Jones suspended the trial yesterday. No reason was given for the halt to proceedings.

Former CFO Sullivan has already pleaded guilty for his part in the $11bn (£5.8bn) accounting scandal that led to the financial collapse of the telecoms giant in 2002.

Throughout his four days of testimony so far Sullivan has repeatedly told the jury that Bernie Ebbers was aware of the financial irregularities at WorldCom and that the former chief exec prompted the book fiddling.

Ebbers denies the fraud charges against him.

When Sullivan does retake the witness stand on Wednesday he can expect a rough time from Ebbers' defence team. At the beginning of the trial they won the right to probe Sullivan's private life, in particular alleged "marital infidelities".

And when Sullivan first took the stand last week he told the court that he used cocaine and marijuana while working at WorldCom and was also convicted of drink-driving in 1984.

It's expected that Ebbers' lawyers will use this to undermine the credibility of the prosecution's star witness. ®

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