Millennium Post

Gupta will not testify in own defence

Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta will not testify in his own defence at his insider trading trial, a decision taken after ‘substantial reflection and consideration’, his lawyer told the federal court here.

In a one paragraph letter dated 10 June to judge Jed Rakoff, who is presiding over the case in Manhattan federal court, Gupta’s lawyer Gary Naftalis said his team had spent the weekend ‘reviewing what we believe we need to present in the defence case’.

‘After substantial reflection and consideration, we have determined that Gupta will not be a witness on his own behalf in the defence case,’ Naftalis said.

Naftalis had last week told the court it was ‘highly likely’ that Gupta would take the witness stand in his defence on 12 June.

The prosecution rested its case last Friday after Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein finished his testimony.

The judge had instructed Naftalis to inform the court and the prosecution about whether Gupta would take the witness stand as soon as he had taken a decision in order to give the prosecution time to prepare.

The defence began its case by showing a recorded video deposition of Gupta’s ‘close friend’ Ajit Jain, the reinsurance head at Berkshire Hathaway.

Jain is seen as a possible successor to Berkshire’s billionaire chief Warren Buffett.

The prosecution has alleged that Gupta, who sat on the boards of Goldman Sachs and Proctor and Gamble, passed on confidential information about Buffett’s plan to invest $ five billion in Goldman Sachs during the height of the financial crisis in 2008 to convicted hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam.

Naftalis is expected to wrap up his case by Tuesday and closing arguments by both sides would be made on Wednesday.

Gupta has pleaded not guilty to security fraud and conspiracy charges that he passed confidential board information to hedge fund founder Rajaratnam.

The Sri Lankan cofounder of the Galleon group was convicted last year on insider trading charges and is currently serving an 11 year prison sentence.

If convicted Gupta faces upto 25 years in prison.

His family and friends have been regularly attending the trial, which began on 21 May.

His wife and four daughters have sat behind him in the spectators’ bench in the courtroom.

The prosecution presented phone records, emails, stock information to show Gupta’s relationship with Rajaratnam.

According to phone records, calls were made from numbers associated with Gupta to Rajaratnam’s lines just seconds after Gupta got off from Goldman and P&G board meetings.
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