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Ex-Goldman board member won't testify

Rajat Gupta, former Goldman Sachs board member, walks

Rajat Gupta, former Goldman Sachs board member, walks near the Federal Courthouse in New York. Gupta, on trial for a third week, is accused of passing secrets he learned from Goldman's board to a billionaire hedge fund founder who used the information to make millions of dollars. Gupta has pleaded not guilty. (June 4, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

NEW YORK - The defense lawyer for a former Goldman Sachs board member accused of insider trading notified the judge on Sunday that his client will not testify at his trial.

Attorney Gary Naftalis sent a letter to Manhattan federal court judge Jed Rakoff saying that Rajat Gupta "will not be a witness on his own behalf in the defense case."

The attorney had told the judge on Friday that Gupta was "highly likely" to testify in his defense this week. But Naftalis said they decided "after substantial reflection and consideration" that Gupta would not testify.

Gupta, who has pleaded not guilty, is charged with conspiring to reveal board secrets that enabled one-time billionaire and hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam to make lucrative trades for his $7 billion hedge fund. Rajaratnam was convicted of insider trading charges at trial last year and is serving an 11-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors have claimed that Gupta hurried to feed Rajaratnam news that Goldman was going to receive a $5 billion investment from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and that Goldman was going to surprise analysts and investors by reporting its first loss.

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