MS/DOJ: Govt. piles up evidence via tapes

Before the antitrust trial against Microsoft breaks for the holidays, courtside observers are expected to be treated to another series of deposition videotapes, as the government attempts to cram as much testimony into its case as the rules governing evidence allow. Both sides are limited to 12 witnesses plus two rebuttal witnesses. But, in addition to the live witnesses called to the stand, the government has been playing segments of videotaped depositions in order to get as much evidence into its case as possible.

Before the antitrust trial against Microsoft breaks for the holidays, courtside observers are expected to be treated to another series of deposition videotapes, as the government attempts to cram as much testimony into its case as the rules governing evidence allow.

In the trial the government and Microsoft are each calling 12 witnesses to testify, and then will get the opportunity to call two rebuttal witnesses. So far, the government has called 10 witnesses to the stand, and when the trial resumes on January 4, will call the first of its last two witnesses. Once that is done, it will be Microsoft's turn to present its case and call its own 12 witnesses to the stand.

But, in addition to the live witnesses called to the stand, the government, during the nine weeks that the trial has lasted so far, has been playing segments of videotaped depositions in order to get as much evidence into its case as possible.

Yesterday, the government once again played a tape of Microsoft Chairman and Chief Executive Office Bill Gates' deposition. Though it has not called him as a live witness, the government has shown tapes of Gates throughout the trial in order to show that Microsoft's alleged bullying tactics were done with the knowledge of the company's leadership. The tapes show Gates verbally sparring with lead government trial attorney David Boies about the meaning of various e-mail sent to and by Gates.

The government yesterday also showed videotaped excerpts of depositions of Steve Wadsworth, vice president of Walt Disney Csubsidiary, the Buena Vista Internet Group, and Ron Rasmussen, a vice president of Santa Cruz Operation, a firm that develops Unix-based desktop and server operating systems software.

USDepartment of Justice attorneys are expected to show another series of tapes today and, most likely, tomorrow. These include another tape of Gates, and segments of tapes of the depositions of John Kies, a vice president of Packard-Bell NEC, and David Limp, of Network Computer .

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