Appeals Court Schedules November Hearing in Wittig, Lake Case

David Wittig
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A federal appeals court plans to hear arguments in November on an appeal in the case of two former Westar
Energy executives.

It's another sign that their third criminal trial will be delayed.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver Tuesday night granted a prosecution motion to speed up its consideration of the appeal. The court said it will schedule a hearing for oral arguments in the week of November 17th through 21st.

Former Westar CEO David Wittig and former Chief Strategy Officer Douglas Lake are charged with conspiracy and circumventing of
internal controls as part of an alleged plan to loot the Topeka-based utility.

Their first trial in 2004 ended in mistrial and the appeals court last year threw out their convictions from a 2005 second trial, allowing the less serious crimes to be retried.

Their third trial was scheduled to begin next Tuesday, but Judge Julie Robinson has said she wants to give the appeals court time to decide the appeal.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)