No Verdict After Day One Of Rajaratnam Jury Deliberations

Apr 26 2011 | 1:37pm ET

The seven women and five men considering the fate of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam failed to reach a verdict on the 14 criminal counts against him yesterday.

The jury deliberated for four hours after being charged in the case by U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell. The 12 members of the jury and two alternates returned to court today to continue their deliberations.

The jury received the case at about noon, after hearing the last half-hour of the prosecution's rebuttal argument. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Streeter told the panel, "you know better than to accept [the defense's] twisted and completely implausible explanation for this evidence. The evidence is overwhelming and that evidence has shown that the defendant is guilty of all 14 counts of the indictment."

"The defense has twisted itself into knots trying to explain away the evidence," Streeter added. "The defense is asking you to ignore logic, forget reality and suspend your common sense."

Jurors were followed into the jury room by the exhibits presented by both sides. Prosecutors hauled two three-foot-long metal carts in, while the defense offered four banker's boxes worth of information.

Despite that considerable volume of material, jurors couldn't see everything they wanted to see. After beginning deliberations, they asked to see graphs shown by prosecutors during their closing argument as well as documents presented by the defense. The latter were already in the room with them; the former were never entered into evidence, meaning the jury can't see them again.

Before sending the jury away, Holwell allowed four of the six alternates to go home. But he did not dismiss them, warning that they would be recalled if they were needed.

Once inside the jury room, the 12 members elected a 56-year-old Bronx man, an Apple Inc. graphic artist, its foreman. The other members of the jury, who live in Manhattan, the Bronx and Westchester County, include several teachers, retired teachers and employees of various boards of education. Two work for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, one is a retired bookkeeper and Israeli army veteran. Another is a nurse, and one is an activities therapist at a nursing home.

Rajaratnam faces decades in prison if convicted of all charges.


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