Former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling accused government prosecutors of trying to “rewrite history” during his fourth day on the witness stand.
He said they were misrepresenting Enron’s business and making “absurd” allegations against him.
“I think they have purposely not looked at facts they should have looked at if they wanted to come to a more balanced and accurate conclusion,” Mr Skilling said to questions from his defence lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli.
He said the prosecution view wasn’t “consistent with what really happened at the company”.
They allege that Mr Skilling and Mr Lay used partnerships created by former finance chief Andrew Fastow to hide debts and losses and mislead investors about Enron’s financial health.
Fastow has admitted to earning millions of dollars from the partnerships he operated, but testified earlier in the trial that Mr Skilling knew about the arrangements.
On Thursday Mr Skilling maintained that he was devastated by Enron’s demise, but reasserted that the company was healthy in the run-up to its collapse into bankruptcy.
“I’m devastated because a company that was a fine company was brought to its knees unnecessarily,” he said.
His defence team is contending that he was misled by dishonest executives like Fastow, and that the company’s collapse was caused by panic-selling from investors rather than serious accounting fraud.