December 8, 2023

DealBook: Rajaratnam Away as Jurors Begin 2nd Week of Deliberation

Where’s Raj?

The question began bubbling up shortly after 9:30 Monday morning as reporters and lawyers arrived at the Federal District Court in Manhattan for the second week of deliberation in the insider trading trial of Raj Rajaratnam.

Like most criminal defendants, Mr. Rajaratnam has not missed a day of his trial, and has stayed close to his lawyers during deliberation.

The defense team issued this statement later in the day:

Mr. Rajaratnam is absent from the courthouse today because he underwent emergency surgery on Sunday morning. Mr. Rajaratnam had developed a bacterial infection in his foot that required surgery. Mr. Rajaratnam has waived his right to be present until he can return. The Court has approved this absence. It is hoped that he will be recovered sufficiently to return to the courthouse this week. We thank you in advance for your respect for Mr. Rajaratnam’s privacy concerning this medical and personal matter.

Aside from Mr. Rajaratnam’s emergency trip to the doctor, it was typical verdict-watch atmosphere, with journalists and court observers sat idly, reading papers or chatting on the phone.

The Galleon networkAzam Ahmed and Guilbert Gates/The New York Times Click on the above graphic to get a visual overview of the Galleon information network.

At noon, word of a jury note – the first in two full days – sent a wave of people rushing into the courtroom. In short order the prosecution and defense team assembled in the courtroom, checking BlackBerrys and whispering to one another as they awaited the judge’s appearance.

But the judge did not make an appearance.

Instead, the lawyers filed into the judge’s chambers without a word and remained for more than a half hour. Presumably after the meeting ended, the lawyers left just as quickly, declining to answer the questions of the anxious reporters about nearby what had transpired.

On his way into the elevator, one prosecutor told reporters it was about “nothing profound.”

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