Ken Lay, former chief executive and chairman of Enron Corp., took the stand yesterday in his fraud and conspiracy trial, declaring his own innocence and fingering former chief financial officer Andrew Fastow as the guilty party.

Lay, 63, is charged with six counts of fraud and conspiracy for his role in the downfall of the energy-trading giant. On the stand, he testified that it was Fastow's crimes, along with the actions of a few other people, that put the wheels in motion for the company's public demise. Lay said that the emergence of Fastow's side deals provided the final blow, alongside a slowing economy, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, short-sellers targeting the company and negative articles appearing in The Wall Street Journal.

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