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Rajat Gupta likely to testify at insider trading trial next week

After the jury was dismissed on Friday for the weekend, Rajat Gupta's lawyer Gary Naftalis told Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan federal court about the possibility of former Goldman Sachs director taking the witness stand in his trial.

twitter-logo PTI   New York     Last Updated: June 9, 2012  | 11:33 IST

Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta is likely to testify next week in his defence at insider trading trial, his lawyer told the court as the prosecution rested its case and the defence presented a video testimony from top Berkshire Hathaway executive India-born Ajit Jain.

After the jury was dismissed on Friday for the weekend, Gupta's lawyer Gary Naftalis told Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan federal court about the possibility of Gupta taking the witness stand in his trial, which began on May 21.

"It was represented to me at the sidebar that Gupta would likely take the stand, given the background of what the court has said," Rakoff asked Gupta's defence lawyers.

Naftalis replied that, "I can say that its highly likely that my client will testify."

The revelation about Gupta testifying came as his defence team discussed with the judge its schedule and witness line-up after the prosecution said they were resting their case.

Rakoff said once it is decided that Gupta will take the witness stand, his lawyers should notify the prosecution who would need to prepare.

"This is a pretty tough decision to make," Naftalis told Rakoff. "I represent that it's highly likely," he said.

"If we change our mind I will immediately pick up the phone to them and say, 'Put down your pencils.'"

Rakoff also told Gupta's defence team that the number of character witnesses it presents should not exceed six.

Naftalis had wanted to put at least a dozen witnesses on the stand and had submitted a list of 20 people who would have testified for Gupta. Rakoff asked Naftalis whether Gupta would be the last to testify "now that we know the defendant is very likely to take the stand."

"He would be at the end," Naftalis said. Gupta's testimony is likely to take most of the day on June 12.

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