HPE lawyer claims key associates of Autonomy boss Mike Lynch 'refuse' to testify to High Court

We don't actually need them, says Lynch's camp

Autonomy Trial Two key witnesses in the Autonomy trial have "refused" to testify, Hewlett-Packard's barrister sensationally claimed to London's High Court.

Laurence Rabinowitz QC told trial judge Mr Justice Hildyard that two of Mike Lynch's main witnesses, former Autonomy chief operating officer Andy Kanter and one-time chief marketing officer Nicole Eagan, were "refusing to attend before your lordship to give evidence".

Kanter was a senior member of Autonomy former CEO Mike Lynch's team, both before and during the company's ill-fated buyout by HP (as was) in August 2011. Eagan is currently chief executive of the company Lynch went on to found after his Autonomy adventures, Darktrace.

A Darktrace spokesman refused to comment last night on Eagan's alleged refusal to testify. Kanter is a partner at Lynch's VC firm, Invoke Capital, which also refused to comment.

The Registerunderstands that Lynch's camp have "stood down" Eagan, Kanter and another witness, and that HPE has similarly decided not to cross-examine three more defence witnesses. Their witness statements will therefore be removed from the case file. We understand Lynch's position is that the events they were due to testify about were covered in great detail during his own marathon testimony in July.

Eagan is also said by HPE to have worked closely with Lynch and played a significant role in the launch of Autonomy's Structured Probabilistic Engine (SPE) product in summer 2009. That event is said by HPE to have been part of Autonomy's cover story to help disguise its growing hardware sales while, HPE claims, pretending to be a pure-play software business. Part of the allegations against Lynch and co-defendant Sushovan Hussain are that hardware sales were classified in Autonomy's accounts as "marketing" expenses.

In June, Lynch was asked in court by Rabinowitz: "Dr Lynch, the plan was that you personally, along with Ms Eagan, were deciding on the wording of the press release for SPE, correct?"

Lynch replied: "Yes, I would really want to be involved in the messaging here."

Kanter, as Autonomy's COO, oversaw its purchase of reseller Microlink in 2010 for $55m, something HPE has already questioned as long ago as 2014. He was one of Lynch's key lieutenants in his running of Autonomy, both day-to-day and in business strategy terms and has been mentioned extensively during the trial by most of the witnesses who have testified so far.

Until he was dropped by Lynch, Kanter was due to spend four days testifying to the court.

The Autonomy trial continues. ®

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