Rajaratnam Civil Trial Could Be Postponed, After All

Feb 22 2010 | 11:06am ET

The start of the civil insider-trading trial of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam may not be as “fixed” as previously thought.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said on Friday that he would consider postponing the case against Rajaratnam and New Castle Partners founder Danielle Chiesi until after the related criminal trial, which begins in October. Rakoff had previously described the Aug. 2 start date of his trial as “firm and fixed.”

The judge was apparently swayed by the fact that “all the relevant parties are seeking the stay,” a reference to the fact that the defense, criminal prosecutors and Securities and Exchange Commission, which brought the civil complaint, are in favor of a postponement.

But Rakoff merely took those requests “under advisement,” and did not say when he would make a decision. He did make clear his discomfort with the prospect that the SEC trial wouldn’t begin until the middle of next year, which he described as a “fundamentally weighty reason” to proceed on Aug. 2.

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