Two of Raj’s good friends, Anil Kumar and Rajiv Goel, have a strange way of referring to him when they’re on the stand at the Raj trial.
They call him “Mr. Rajaratnam.”
It’s weird because Kumar and Goel were really close with Raj. They made friends at business school and stayed in touch over the years.
Goel was especially good friends with Raj. He cited their friendship as the reason he gave Raj info.
“We spoke frequently. We would talk about our worlds, his world a little, my world a little, our kids, our vacations together.”
“We helped each other with our kids, their colleges — that was another way of helping each other out.”
“We were good friends, so we helped each other out,” is how Goel answered the prosecution’s question about why he gave inside information to Raj. Goel even went on vacations with Raj. And he seemed sad to be testifying against his friend.
But instead of “Raj,” Kumar and Goel addressed him as “Mr. Rajaratnam.”
Clearly, they were coached by the prosecution to do this. At one point in his testimony, Kumar even corrected himself when he said “Raj,” to say “excuse me, Mr. Rajaratnam.”
No one calls anyone they’re friends with, “Mr.” unless there’s a reason. Like, who will the jury want to take away everything from more? “Raj” or “Mr. Rajaratnam?”
The defence, on the other hand, calls “Raj,” simply, “Raj.” The defence isn’t afraid to humanize him, their client the billionaire hedge fund manager who simply did his homework for the sake of his investors.
But the prosecution might want to keep the jury from thinking of Rajaratnam as anything but a cold, distant “Mr.” if they want to take away the only thing Raj has left and shut him in jail for 12-20 years.
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