June 5, 2023

Retrial Planned for Officer Linked to Post-Katrina Shootings

United States Attorney Jim Letten made the announcement late Friday but declined to provide further comment.

Earlier Friday, Judge Kurt Engelhardt of Federal District Court declared a mistrial in the case of the former police officer, Gerard Dugue, ruling that the Justice Department prosecutor, Bobbi Bernstein, may have tainted the jury hearing the trial by mentioning the name of a man who was beaten to death by a New Orleans police officer in a case unrelated to Mr. Dugue’s.

Mr. Dugue was on trial for charges that he wrote a false report on the shootings of unarmed residents on the Danziger Bridge, less than a week after the August 2005 hurricane. He was the last of 20 New Orleans police officers who were charged by the Justice Department’s civil rights division to go on trial, and the case was expected to go to the jury early this week.

Ms. Bernstein argued that merely mentioning the unrelated victim’s name could not amount to any prejudice against Mr. Dugue. Mr. Dugue was not charged in the other case, but Judge Engelhardt said it was impossible to know if any jurors had heard the remark and reached any negative conclusions.

“That’s a chance that I’m not willing to take,” he said, adding that a mistrial was “the last thing in the world I want to do.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=d8eb0118cde3172d9e22f098023439bc

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.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=d10505a021ce379f762eea9e405cfdd9

DealBook: Jurors Get Rajaratnam Case

The biggest insider trading case in a generation is now in the hands of a federal jury in Manhattan.

After a brief rebuttal by the prosecution and an hour-plus of jury instructions, Raj Rajaratnam’s fate now lies with the teachers, nurses and public servants from Westchester County, Manhattan and the Bronx who serve on the jury. Mr. Rajaratnam, the billionaire co-founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund, stands accused of making more than $50 million by trading stocks using insider tips.

The prosecutor, Jonathan Streeter, who offered his rebuttal to the defense’s closing statements, kept his comments short. The defense spent a great deal of time during its closing statements disparaging the government’s cooperating witnesses, even calling one the biggest liar ever to testify at a trial in the Lower Manhattan courthouse.

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.

Mr. Streeter told jurors that the government’s cooperating witnesses were corroborated by heaps of evidence – secretly recorded calls as well as phone, e-mail and trading records.

Indeed, Mr. Streeter said that while the defense accused the government of relying on compromised witnesses, they left out a critical detail related to their own star witness. Rick Schutte, the former president of the Galleon Group, received $25 million in investments from Mr. Rajaratnam and his family for his new hedge fund in the months before his testimony, a fact the prosecution brought up on cross-examination.

He told jurors the defense had tried to distract them from seeing what was abundantly clear from the evidence.

“The defense has asked you ignore logic, forget reality and suspend common sense,” Mr. Streeter said.

The judge then charged the jurors, walking them through the various counts in the indictment against Mr. Rajaratnam, defining everything from reasonable doubt to conspiracy.

As the focus of the case moved from the lawyers to the jurors, the shift could be detected among the courtroom artists. A mother and daughter pair of artists, bedecked in similar outfits of shiny black pants, metallic sweaters and red neckerchiefs, furiously sketched the scene ahead of a verdict.

Judge Richard J. Holwell, who has hardly spoken aloud during the trial, read from prepared remarks in a deep and crackling voice. The jurors sat at attention throughout the long instructions.

At exactly noon, the 12 jurors went to deliberate and four alternates were asked to remain on call in case they were needed.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/jurors-get-rajaratnam-case/?partner=rss&emc=rss