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Pressure’s rising in the Livent trial, as Greenspan’s cross-exam goes into day five

Yesterday was Gordon Eckstein’s fifth day under cross-examination in the Livent trial, and for fans of Eddie Greenspan’s particular brand of withering, scornful sarcasm—the kind he marshalled against David Radler to mixed reviews—yesterday’s midday cross-exam was of pure vintage. Going back and forth as to the propriety of “papering the house” (i.e., buying up tickets, then giving them away so as to give the impression of a full house), Eddie and Eckstein snapped at each other like a couple of Dobermans scrapping for sport.

When Eddie suggested that Disney had papered the house by giving away tickets to their Boys & Girls Clubs, Eckstein responded: “That doesn’t make it right…. So what if they did it? It’s still wrong.” At this point, Eddie turned subtly to the gallery and, with those Boys & Girls Clubs no doubt prancing in his head, made an expression that would stop a clock. He then said, his voice rising with indignation and innuendo, “It was wrong! It was wrong?” The air between them grew thick, as Eckstein bulled his way through Eddie’s contempt. “It was a public company…. The TSE and the SEC requires all the information to be truthful.” Eddie quickly moved on. But it was a charged moment lost on exactly no one.

Two and a half hours later, having pushed Eckstein as far as possible in suggesting the whole blessed mess was his idea and that he acted alone, without the knowledge of either Drabinsky or Gottlieb Eddie put paid to his cross-examination—Eckstein’s denials ringing in the court’s ears—with an exasperated “I have no more questions.” Which I took to mean, “I’m tired of this guy’s lies and I assume everyone else is, too.”

This morning, his brother, Brian, takes up the baton. And having watched les deux plotting in the hallways for more than few minutes after court adjourned yesterday, I doubt Eckstein will find much relief.

Hiring of CFO proof Drabinsky didn’t know of Livent fraud, lawyer says [Globe and Mail]• Witness recalls Drabinsky’s keen interest in Livent auditor [Toronto Star]

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