Just watch Dowd to gauge how the trial of Raj Rajaratnam is going. He went from giving the middle finger to a thumbs up in just two days.Walking out of the courtroom today, the Rajaratnam defence team looked positively giddy.
Raj’s lead lawyer, John Dowd, who defended Raj against allegations that he insider traded for seven weeks (so long and tiring that Raj’s will be Dowd’s last trial), is usually curt and even mean to the cameramen who follow Raj to and from his car. On Monday, he told them, “Fu-k you,” three times in the morning. And in the afternoon, he gave them the middle finger.
Today, he gave a thumbs up.
The attorneys prosecuting Rajaratnam by contrast, are visibly worried that Raj will be acquitted.
Today in court, they protested Judge Holwell for around five minutes because they are concerned that the jury is paying more attention to the defence’s best evidence than theirs.
“Some of the defence’s best evidence is in [the 15 wiretaps that the jury requested be re-played],” said prosecuting attorney Adam Brodsky, “with the exception of one, all of the defence’s best evidence is back there [with the jury].”
Brodsky’s concern is over the fact that today and Monday, the jury requested to hear 15 wiretapped phone conversations again. And because they are not allowed to bring transcripts of all of the calls into the room with them, those 15 calls appear to be the calls that the jury is weighing most heavily.
The jury might not have known that the binders with the printed transcripts of the calls would be taken from them before deliberation, said Brodsky. They might have taken notes in the binders, he pleaded, hoping that Judge Holwell would allow the jury to see all of the government’s wiretapped conversations, too.
The defence objected to the plea, which Brodsky called an attempt to “handcuff” the jury to the defence’s evidence only. “It seems unfair that the government’s best evidence should not go back in there.”
The judge denied their request. About half of the time, said Judge Holwell, judges will allow the jury to bring all of the transcripts into the deliberation room. Holwell disagrees with letting jury members see printed transcripts because it prevents them from reading only 1 line of the call. Instead, they hear the line in context.
Brodsky pleaded further, how about the court gives the jury a computer so that they can hear the call as many times as they like?
“We’ll monitor the situation,” said Holwell.
In the calls that the jury requested to hear, Raj and his tippers are heard saying, among other things, “don’t hold me [Goel] to that number,” and “I [Raj] did my homework, man.”
In another call the jury requested to hear, Raj says, “You can only do the maths, right?” And Goel responds, “You don’t know where the public is going to stand.”