Rajaratnam Jury Ordered To Restart Deliberations After Juror Exits

May 4 2011 | 12:28pm ET

After six days of deliberations, the jury in the Raj Rajaratnam insider-trading case is starting over.

U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell ordered the panel to begin their discussions anew after he excused a 70-year-old juror for medical reasons. The jury did not deliberate yesterday to accommodate a medical procedure for that juror, and started over today with a new member: a 39-year-old Westchester County Parks Dept. employee.

The excused juror was a woman, a retired Manhattan bookkeeper. Her exit was approved of by both prosecutors and the Galleon Group founder's defense team.

The change in juror also requires the panel to elect a new foreman. The original foreman was a 56-year-old graphic artist from the Bronx.

Rajaratnam, who was not in court for a second-straight day after having emergency foot surgery on Sunday, faces 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud stemming from his alleged leadership of a massive insider-trading ring. Prosecutors have secured more than 20 guilty pleas in the case.

If Rajaratnam is convicted, he faces decades in prison.

"He's healing," his lawyer, John Dowd, said.

"The law requires that jurors begin their deliberations anew," Holwell told the jury, now consisting of eight women and four men. "Accordingly, you must disregard your earlier deliberations and begin your deliberations anew." Holwell also directed the jury to turn in their old verdict sheet.

"The law requires you to base your verdict solely upon the evidence," the judge added. "The verdict must represent the verdict of each juror, including the new juror that's been seated."

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