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Arguments conclude in Rajaratnam trial

By Betwa Sharma
April 26, 2011 08:43 IST
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Law booksArguments concluded on Monday in the insider trading case involving Raj Rajaratnam, founder of Galleon Group who is accused of making $63 million by trading on insider tips.

The jury is presently in deliberations over the charges of 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy against the defendant.

In the final part of the government rebuttal, US assistant attorney Jonathan Streeter contested claims made by defense attorney, John Dowd, that government witnesses told lies on the stand.

"This is not true. . . they didn't lie. . . they told the truth," Streeter told the jury.

The government presented several witnesses, including two Indian-Americans, Anil Kumar, former director McKinsey and Co and Rajiv Goel, a former executive at Intel Inc.

They had pleaded guilty and testified against Rajaratnam.

Streeter said that Dowd's logic suggested that cooperating witnesses were lying about committing crimes that they didn't commit.

"That's absurd," he said.

"People don't admit to elaborate crimes that they didn't commit."

During his closing argument,

Dowd had argued that the government witnesses were lying to get shorter sentences.

He described Kumar as the 'worst' liar.

Streeter, however, said that government testimony had been corroborated by independent evidence, adding, that the defense witness, Rick Schutte, a former chief operating officer of Galleon, had received $25 million from Rajaratnam for his own hedge fund.

The government lawyer said this omission on the part of the defense concealed 'motivation, bias and relationship' that Schutte had with the defendant.

Following the rebuttal, Judge Richard Holwell gave instructions to the jury on the application of the law to the evidence presented over the six-week long trial, which included wiretapped conversations between Rajaratnam and alleged conspirators.

If convicted, the Sri Lankan-born defendant faces up to 20 years in prison.

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Betwa Sharma in New York
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