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Over the weekend: Rajat Gupta not to take the stand in insider trading trial

Rajat Gupta's lawyer caused quite a stir in the courtroom on Friday when he announced that his client is "highly likely" to take the stand. On Sunday, however, he wrote to the judge backing out of the decision.

Betwa Sharma   New York     Last Updated: June 11, 2012  | 10:33 IST

Rajat Gupta's lawyer Gary Naftalis caused quite a stir in the courtroom on Friday when he announced that his client, charged with insider trading, is "highly likely" to take the stand.

On Sunday, however, Naftalis wrote to Judge Jed Rakoff backing out of the decision.

"We have the spent the last day reviewing what we believe we need to present in the defense case," he wrote. "After substantial reflection and consideration, we have determined that Mr Gupta will not be a witness on his own behalf in the defense case."

Gupta, the former global head of McKinsey & Co, is charged with passing on confidential information about Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Procter & Gamble Co while serving as a director.

Full Coverage: Rajat Gupta trial

Gupta allegedly passed these secrets to Raj Rajaratnam, co-founder of the now defunct Galleon Hedge Fund LLP, who was convicted of insider trading last year and is serving an 11-year prison sentence. Rajaratnam did not take the stand during his trial.

One reason for putting Gupta on the stand was for the jury to learn more about his character, as well as his philanthropic work.

On the other hand, making the defendant testify carries the risk of him saying something to prejudice his own case especially during the prosecution's cross-examination.

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