In the morning session of his testimony on the witness stand in front of the defence, Anil Kumar heard Raj Rajaratnam and Rajat Gupta trashing him behind his back.
After Raj said that Kumar was “trying [and failing] to be a mini Rajat” and that he was paying Kumar to do “literally nothing,” Raj also took a shot at him because he can “never laugh and be really happy.”
The morning’s events are interesting given that this afternoon, Kumar spent a great deal of his time laughing in responses to Raj’s lawyer’s, John Dowd’s questions.
For example, when Dowd asked, do you recognise your handwriting on this Visa document stating that Manju Das, Kumar’s housekeeper whose name he put on documents for the money he’d received from Raj, intended to stay in the U.S. for 2-3 years? Kumar thought it was hilarious, chuckling as he answered, “Yes.”
But Dowd had already laid the groundwork for his strategy: to challenge the truth of Kumar’s earlier testimony with the defence, by saying that Kumar falsified a number of his testimonies. To do this, Dowd brought up documents that Kumar had signed for Galleon, in order to invest the money that Raj paid him, and said that they were proof that Kumar had lied to Galleon. Kumar disputed this, saying Raj had instructed him to put the accounts in his housekeeper’s name.
In the end, it didn’t much work, as Kumar did not budge an inch as Dowd attempted to prove that he had lied about backdating a letter.
And Dowd failed again later, when Kumar did not allow Dowd to make it look as though he had sent invoices demanding payment from Raj for “consulting services.”
He made his point, but Kumar made light of the situation by laughing as soon as he was shown evidence of his “consulting services,” that turned out to be emails he’d sent to Raj with a news story and an analyst report.
“I would be hoping my intellect would be more valuable than something you can find on the internet,” he laughed.In total, Kumar laughed in his answers at least 10 times throughout the course of the afternoon, as Dowd asked obvious questions or showed him documents or emails.
It was like he was a proud peacock, boasting to Raj that he was in the power position. It was also recalled that morning, when Raj had said on wiretap, “I’ve never seen him laugh and be really happy you know?”
Today, Raj had a front row ticket to Anil Kumar laughing now, and at Raj’s expense.
One email Kumar found funny had the subject line, “India quite hot.” The significance was probably the “India book,” which Raj may or may not have been trading on behalf of the information he received from Kumar. We didn’t have time to find out, because as soon as Kumar asked, laughing, “Would you like me to read it out? It’s quite amusing.”
Dowd replied quickly and sternly, “No.”
Kumar was cracking up again when he was shown an email from his mother-in-law. He looked down to read it and giddily announced to the courtroom, “It’s an email from my mother in law, who has a cute sense of humour.”
But in this case, whether or not his laughter was genuine was a serious question for the jury.
They’ll have to decide which section from an email from Raj’s mother in law is more important:
My concern is with Manju’s mail being handed over to her relatives by accident
I asked our goofs to keep all of our mail though we also get letters for the trust here
The defence argues that the former is the more important, and says that the meaning of the email is that Kumar’s family is concerned that his Manju Das’s relatives would be surprised to find out that a housekeeper was investing hundreds of thousands of dollars with a hedge fund in New York.
Kumar argues that the email is simply his mother-in-law expressing concern that the mail could get mixed up given that in India, as Kumar says, “it’s a big hodgepodge.”
If the first is true, it would mean that Kumar might have deceived his housekeeper and used her name without her knowledge (he claims she knew).
If the second is true, Kumar has a funny sense of humour, because the email wasn’t very funny, but he’s being truthful about his housekeeper’s being in on the arrangement.