Intel Exec.'s Phone Calls Occupy Jury On Day Three

Apr 28 2011 | 12:25pm ET

On their third day of deliberations, the jury in the Raj Rajaratnam case spent more time listening to the wiretapped phone calls at the heart of the government's case against the Galleon Group founded.

Jurors listened to six of the 45 tapes in the case, all of them between Rajaratnam and government star witness Rajiv Goel. Goel, a former Intel Corp. executive, testified during the trial that he passed confidential information about Intel and other companies to Rajaratnam.

Yesterday was the second-straight day that jurors listened to wiretaps, The focus on Goel—Rajaratnam's alleged tipster on a deal involving Clearwire Corp. and Sprint Nextel that makes up the third count of the 14-count indictment against Rajaratnam—appears to indicate that the jury is systematically going through the case against the former hedge fund billionaire. The jury returned today to continue their deliberations.

The jury's reliance on the tapes produced an angry exchange between prosecutors and Rajaratnam's lead defense attorney. U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell has refused to allow jurors to consult transcripts of the tapes, since those were not entered into evidence.  Holwell also refused to give the jury a computer with all of the taps, allowing them to replay them for themselves. Prosecutor Reed Brodsky said that restriction was "handcuffing the government's case."

"Some of the government's best evidence is not back there in the jury room," he complained.

Rajaratnam's lawyer, John Dowd, shot back that "the government is trying to change the rules after you put the horse in the barn."

"You can't take the witness stand and send them back," he added. "It's just the way it is."

Holwell refused even to give the jury the computer, saying he didn't want the panel "only listening to one line" of a call.

After Holwell sided—for the time being—with the defense, Dowd told Brodsky he'd "get a big crying towel for him." Brodsky smiled.

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