Galleon Defendants Seek To Split Trials

Mar 15 2010 | 1:39pm ET

Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam and former New Castle Partners executive Danielle Chiesi on Friday moved to separate their trials for insider-trading.

Lawyers for both Rajaratnam and Chiesi, who are set to go on trial in October, say that the case against them includes seven distinct conspiracy allegations that cannot be shown to be connected.

“There is an utter lack of meaningful overlaps between the seven alleged conspiracies in the case,” John Down, Rajaratnam’s lawyer, wrote to U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell. “Jurors would become confused as to which evidence pertained to which conspiracy count and, in turn, which defendant,” Chiesi’s lawyers added.

Rajaratnam’s lawyers also used the occasion to further savage the government’s case, again attacking star witness Roomy Khan, a former Galleon employee. Dowd called Khan “an inveterate fabricator” and said the government failed to tell the court about her previous insider-trading conviction and that she recanted part of her story when it sought the wiretaps at the heart of the case.

Dowd is seeking to have those wiretaps tossed out of the case.

Rajaratnam and Chiesi have pleaded not guilty. A total of 21 people have been charged in the case, and 10 have pleaded guilty.

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