Rajaratnam Jurors Ask To Hear New Wiretaps

May 5 2011 | 11:18am ET

The newly-reconstituted jury in the Raj Rajaratnam case began anew yesterday in much that same way the jury began last week: with the wiretaps.

The jurors, who were forced to restart deliberations yesterday after U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell dismissed a juror for medical reasons and empanelled an alternative, asked to hear a dozen of the 45 wiretaps played during the case, including three it had not previously sought to rehear.

Two of the tapes features government star witness Anil Kumar, a former McKinsey & Co. partner. In one, Kumar told Rajaratnam about "massive layoffs" coming at eBay Inc. in 2008. In the other, Kumar and the Galleon Group founder discuss conversations he had with another McKinsey employee.

"Let's ask him to be a little discreet about these types of things," Kumar told Rajaratnam and Rengan Rajaratnam, who worked at Galleon. "This completely unnerved David, you know, I don't think other guys can handle this."

"I love that they're listening to these calls," prosecutor Reed Brodsky told Holwell yesterday. "Some of these calls are fantastic for the government."

But the judge and assistant U.S. attorney were at odds again yesterday, when Brodsky took the opportunity provided by a jury restart to ask Holwell to provide transcripts of the calls to the jury. Holwell again refused, as the transcripts were never entered into evidence.

Rajaratnam wasn't in court again yesterday, after having had emergency foot surgery on Sunday. If convicted, he faces decades in prison.

Holwell also yesterday set a sentencing date for Rajaratnam's former co-defendant, Danielle Chiesi. Chiesi, a former executive at hedge fund New Castle Partners, pleaded guilty just weeks before the trial began in March, but did not testify in the case against Rajaratnam.

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