The trial of US meat processor Tyson Foods, accused of recruiting and exploiting illegal immigrant workers, will begin tomorrow and is expected to last two months.
Tyson officials predict that federal prosecutors will be unable to prove any conspiracy to smuggle and hire illegal immigrants.
“We are anxious to tell our story in court,” Gary Mickelson, a spokesman Tyson, the world’s largest meat producer, was quoted as saying by Dow Jones News. “There is no evidence of a corporate effort to hire undocumented workers.”
Tyson and several of its managers are accused of conspiring to smuggle illegal immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico to work in 15 poultry processing plants in nine states.
The company claims the managers were acting outside company policy.
Tyson attorneys have said they turned down a government demand for US$100m to get the charges dropped. They have also accused the government of using undercover agents to entrap Tyson employees, reported Dow Jones Business News.