Liberty’s Bennett Testifies in Klesch Trial


Liberty Media Corp. CEO Robert Bennett testified via videotape in a federal court trial Wednesday, AP reported.

London-based investment firm Klesch & Co. took Liberty to court, accusing the media company of threatening to kill their deal and to squeeze Klesch out of a plan to buy six German cable networks from Deutsche Telekom AG, according to AP.

Liberty countered by alleging fraud and saying Klesch failed to live up to the agreement the two companies had reached.

The networks later were sold to other parties.

In a videotaped deposition taken in May 2003, Bennett said Liberty would have pulled out of a deal to buy nearly $5 billion in German cable assets if Klesch refused to give it a bigger stake, according to AP.

He added that he made statements about Liberty's plans to the banker's attorneys in 2002 that he believed to be true, but he later changed them when "my memory was refreshed."

A similar deposition by Liberty chairman John Malone is scheduled to be shown later this week, AP reported.

Klesch is seeking at least $1 billion in damages and unspecified punitive damages from Liberty, Malone and Bennett, according to AP. Liberty is seeking up to $150,000 in a counterclaim.