Wiretap Law Author Urges Rajaratnam Appeal

Aug 8 2013 | 10:35am ET

The law professor credited as the architect of the U.S. wiretap statute is set to add his weight to Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam's appeal.

G. Robert Blakey, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, will be permitted to submit a brief backing Rajaratnam's bid to have his insider-trading conviction overturned, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

A three-judge panel of that court in June upheld Rajaratnam's conviction and 11-year prison sentence. The former hedge fund billionaire is seeking a rehearing by the full court.

Blakey helped draft the wiretap statute in 1968 and argues that recording phone calls is a "method of last resort" and that the wiretaps at the center of the prosecution's case against Rajaratnam both should not have been authorized and should not have been admitted by the trial court judge.

"If a wiretap was obtained without that necessity 'fully and completely' shown, Title III expressly requires the exclusion of the fruits of the illicit behavior," Blakey wrote.

Blakey, who has previously said that Rajaratnam is probably guilty, believes that prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation lied in their wiretap application.

Blakey's backing, of course, is no guarantee of success: He also supported Rajaratnam with an amicus curiae brief before the three-judge panel that upheld the conviction.

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