Rajat Gupta trial: Berkshire's Ajit Jain to give video testimony

New York: Berkshire Hathaway's India-born head of reinsurance business Ajit Jain, seen as a possible successor to billionaire investor Warren Buffett, will testify through a video deposition for his "close friend", former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta in his insider trading trial.

As the prosecution wraps up its case against Gupta, his defence team expects to begin its case today by showing a recorded deposition of Jain, a spokeswoman for the federal court in Manhattan said.

Jain, a former McKinsey employee, is among a list of 20 witnesses who will testify for Gupta in his trial.

 Rajat Gupta trial: Berkshires Ajit Jain to give video testimony

Gupta had a "not long, but good" tenure, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein testified at his trial on insider trading charges.

Jain is likely to testify as a character witness for the ex-McKinsey head.

The India-born top executive at Berkshire has previously been been interviewed by Gupta's defence team and has also met the prosecutors.

Rajat Gupta had a good tenure at Goldman

Gupta had a "not long, but good" tenure, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein testified at his trial on insider trading charges.

Cross-examined by Gupta's lawyers, Blankfein, 57, testified in Manhattan federal court Thursday that when Gupta considered leaving the bank's board in 2008 to join KKR, the buyout firm co-founded by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, his exit was on the "best of terms".

Goldman gave Gupta cufflinks. Gupta stayed on the board at the urging of Blankfein, he said, out of concern that his exit during the financial crisis could raise questions about the inner workings of Goldman.

Asked whether Gupta's tenure was long and good, Blankfein said: "It wasn't long but it was good."

Blankfein also testified that Gupta's relationship with convicted hedge fund billionaire Rajaratnam did not cause him any concern in 2008.

Prosecutors have alleged that Gupta tipped Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund, that Goldman was losing $2 per share in October 2008, when analysts were anticipating the bank to turn a profit.

Profit and loss statements from 17 October that were presented to the Goldman board showed the bank was losing $1.96 per share so far that quarter.

Earlier on Thursday, prosecutors showed phone and trading records indicating Galleon made $13.5 million in profits and avoided $3.8 million in losses on the basis of the alleged tips from Gupta.

Blankfein testified that board discussions were confidential as company policy and "sensibly so because the information was very important and potentially market moving to our stock."

Blankfein said he never authorised Gupta to discuss earnings information with anyone outside of the board.

Agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 09:05:41 IST