Government prosecutors today filed a number of last-minute court documents in their antitrust suit against Microsoft, hitting on procedural issues related to trial, scheduled to begin on Monday.
The most interesting of the filings is not yet being made public: It contains the testimony government witnesses will make in the case. Ordinarily, trial witnesses give "direct testimony" to one side and are then "cross-examined" by the opposing party. In an effort to speed up the Microsoft trial, however, witnesses' direct testimony will be entered into the record via written statements.
Justice Department (DOJ) spokeswoman Gina Talamona said the government would file its witness testimony by midnight tonight, but did not plan to release the documents to the public until the eve of that witness's scheduled court appearance.
Microsoft is scheduled to file a similar witness testimony document in a few weeks.
In another brief, the government opposed a motion Microsoft filed last Friday asking for a two-week delay in the trial. Microsoft requested the delay citing "last minute maneuvering" related to two new witnesses the government said it would call at trial.
Today's government brief opposing the delay called Microsoft's claim "disingenuous at best," and urged U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who is hearing the case, to deny the motion.
In yet another motion, the government sought permission to depose Microsoft executive Bob Muglia, who on Friday was added to the list of witnesses Microsoft intended to call at trial.
Finally, the government urged Jackson to deny a request by Microsoft to undertake extensive pretrial testimony of two recent additions to prosecutors' witness roster, namely Sun Microsystems' James Gosling and Apple Computer's Avadis Tevanian.
The government "has advised Microsoft that it would consent to a motion for leave to take their depositions," the brief states. "However, Microsoft's request for broad, essentially unlimited discovery of Messrs. Gosling and Tevanian and their respective employers, Sun and Apple, is unwarranted and should be denied."
Both Microsoft and the government also filed a list of exhibits the two sides intend to introduce at trial.