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Rajat Gupta’s trial begins in New York

The trial of former Indian-American Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta began on Monday in what is the most high profile case of insider trading in US history.

The trial began at US District Court, Southern Disctrict of New York with the judge Jed Rakoff meeting defence and procecution and sorting out routine issues and is expected to last for three weeks.

Gupta, 63, was also present in the courtroom. He appeared composed and was seen talking to his lawyers and taking down notes. Gupta’s lawyer Gary Naftalis told the judge that he would be making ‘three or four sentences about Gupta’s charitable work in his opening remarks’, the judge agreed to that.

The jury selection process is on. About 100 people have been called and jurors will be selected from them.

Gupta is the most high profile Wall Street executive to be charged in the government’s crackdown on insider trading.

Gupta has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers are expected to argue that Gupta had a falling out with convicted hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam and did not reap any financial gains through his association with him.

Prosecutors have argued in pre-trial hearings that Gupta passed on to Rajaratnam confidential company information he received as board member of Goldman Sachs and Proctor and Gamble and the Sri Lankan hedge fund founder then made millions in profit and avoided huge losses on the basis of that information.

The trial will see investment guru Warren Buffet and Arcelor Mittal chairman Lakshmi Mittal as potential witnesses.
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