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Rajat Gupta trial: First day of jury deliberations end without verdict

Twelve members of the jury concluded the first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict in the Rajat Gupta insider trading trial, which lasted for 16 days. They will resume deliberations on Friday.

Betwa Sharma   New York     Last Updated: June 15, 2012  | 00:00 IST

Twelve members of the jury concluded the first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict in the Rajat Gupta insider trading trial, which lasted for 16 days. They will resume deliberations on Friday.

Gupta, the former global head of McKinsey, has been charged with six counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy.

The US government has accused him of passing confidential information about Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Procter & Gamble to Raj Rajaratnam, co-founder of the Galleon Hedge Fund LLP.

Rajaratnam was convicted of insider trading last year and is now serving an 11-year prison term, the longest ever for this crime.

On Thursday, Judge Jed Rakoff gave the jury, which includes a junior school teacher, a psychiatric nurse, a beauty consultant and a non-profit executive, its 24-page instructions and verdict form.

Highlights of trial:Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16

"Before you retire to deliberate, it is my duty to instruct you as to the law that will govern your deliberations. As I told you at the start of this case, and as you agreed, it is your duty to accept my instructions of law and apply them to the facts as you determine them," the instructions read.

"You are to perform your duty of finding the facts without bias or prejudice as to any party. You are to perform your final duty in an attitude of complete fairness and impartiality. You are not to be swayed by rhetoric or emotional appeals."

The verdict form with seven counts reads like: On Count 1 - the charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud - we the jury find Rajat Gupta: Guilty/Not Guilty

US government lawyers have argued that Gupta from 2008 to 2009 passed insider tips about important events and quarterly earnings about Goldman Sachs as well as P&G to Rajaratnam whose trades on their shares resulted in making profits or avoiding losses to the tune of millions of dollars.

Full Coverage: Rajat Gupta trial


"He tipped Mr Rajaratnam over and over again," Assistant US Attorney Reed Brodsky, said in his closing remarks on Wednesday.

The defence counsel, however, has countered that the government's case is based on "guesswork and speculation".

"Where's the beef," defence lawyer Gary Naftalis said in his closing remarks.

The case hinges on testimony of various witnesses presented by both sides as well as evidence, which includes phone records that match trading records and secretly recorded phone conversations.

Unlike the Rajaratnam case, however, the prosecution did not produce wiretaps that definitively captured Gupta passing secrets.

In one wiretap from July 2008, however, he can be heard telling the hedge fund manager about the discussions of a Goldman Sachs board meeting. Goldman Sachs Chairman Lloyd Blankfein, who appeared as a government witness, testified that Gupta was not authorised to divulge any information discussed in the board meetings.

It can't be said how long the jury will take to deliberate. Even in the Rajaratnam case, which had incriminating wiretaps, the jury took six days to reach a guilty verdict.

Experts say the Gupta case is not as clear-cut. However, they also say that the US government has managed several convictions in insider trading cases without wiretaps as well.

"The fact that the prosecution is brought in the name of the United States of America entitles the government to no greater consideration than that accorded any other party," the instructions read.

"By the same token, it is entitled to no less consideration. All parties, whether the Government or individuals, stand as equals at the bar of justice."

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