NEW YORK, May 2, 2011 (AFP) – Jury deliberations in Wall Street’s biggest insider trading trial for a generation will be suspended for a day, a judge ordered Monday, as the wait for a verdict entered its second week. Judge Richard Holwell in New York federal court said deliberations would resume Wednesday after pausing “in light of juror scheduling issues.”
The break coincided with the unexpected absence from the trial of the defendant, former Galleon Group hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam.
The Sri Lankan-born investor, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of earning tens of millions of dollars on the basis of illegal insider tips, was excused after undergoing emergency surgery, his lawyer John Dowd said.
“He underwent emergency surgery on Sunday morning. Mr. Rajaratnam had developed a bacterial infection in his foot that required surgery. Mr Rajaratnam has waived his right to be present until he can return. The Court has approved this absence,” Dowd said in a statement.
“It is hoped that he will be recovered sufficiently to return to the courthouse this week.” Rajaratnam, 53, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all charges in a case seen as the biggest assault on alleged insider t