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US judge to rule on evidence about Reliance at Gupta trial

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US judge to rule on evidence about Reliance at Gupta trial
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New York: A US judge trying Rajat Gupta, former Indian-American chief executive of McKinsey & Co, is yet to decide whether an e-mail relating to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani should be allowed in evidence.

Prosecutors at Gupta's trial in Manhattan federal court here on insider trading charges have said they want to offer into evidence an April 3, 2008, e-mail from former McKinsey executive Anil Kumar to Gupta.

According to prosecution, convicted hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam wanted Gupta to ask Ambani whether his company ‘would be getting into the solar business aggressively,’ Kumar allegedly told Gupta in an e-mail, prosecutors said.

‘If so, there would be implications for supplier companies,’ they said.

US District Judge Jed Rakoff hasn't decided whether the message will be allowed into evidence.

Ambani isn't accused of wrongdoing.

The prosecution and defence are also sparring over whether Kumar, who has pleaded guilty to insider trading and is cooperating with prosecutors, may testify about illegal payments made to him by Rajaratnam.

Prosecutors said Gupta was aware of these payments, which they said would show he knew of the insider-trading scheme.

Meanwhile, defence lawyers suggested that a number of people other than Gupta could have leaked confidential information about Procter & Gamble's sale of its Folgers coffee unit in 2008 to Smucker's.

Cross-examined by defence attorney Gary Naftalis, P&G's finance chief Jon Moeller said employees in a half-dozen departments at both companies, as well as bankers and lawyers, knew of the deal in the weeks before it was announced.

‘And all these people were working on the transaction, in addition to the Smucker people?’ Naftalis asked Moeller in Manhattan federal court. ‘Yes, that's true,’ Moeller said.

IANS

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