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Preet Bharara: Rajat Gupta’s Plea to Overturn Conviction should be rejected

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Prosecutors argued that the pleas of former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta to have his conviction of insider trading overturned be rejected. They’ve insisted Gupta received a fair trial and was convicted by an impartial jury for his “criminal conduct,” they told an appeals court.

Indian American U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara wrote as such in a lengthy brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit filed this month. Gupta’s perpetual tipping of his business partner Raj Rajaratnam with material non-public information in “ways that furthered Gupta and Rajaratnam’s shared financial interests” remains “criminal” and he is “not actually innocent.”

He added Gupta’s appeals from an order denying his motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence should be rejected and he is not entitled to the relief he seeks.

In May, the 66-year-old Gupta filed an exhaustive brief in the appeals court — he argued that the judgment of the Manhattan district court finding him guilty of insider trading “should be reversed” and his “conviction should be vacated.”

His appeal was filed in the immediate shadow of an historic ruling by the Manhattan appeals court that for an insider trading, prosecutors must show that a defendant received a personal benefit for passing illegal tips. Examples can be found in the reversals of a convictions of insider trading in hedge-fund managers Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson in 2014, Gupta’s lawyers argued.

However, opining there is no legal basis to overturn the conviction, Bharara said the jury convicted Gupta for “repeatedly and brazenly” disclosing material non-public information to Rajaratnam in violation of the fiduciary duties Gupta owed to Goldman Sachs and Procter and Gamble, companies on whose boards of directors he served.

“This conduct, which was motivated by Gupta’s substantial financial entanglements with Rajaratnam and his multi-billion dollar hedge fund, is as criminal today as it was before Newman,” Bharara said.

“Gupta received a fair trial before a properly instructed jury; that jury simply agreed with the government’s evidence of guilt, rejected Gupta’s proffered defenses and convicted Gupta for the conduct he committed. There is no legal basis to disturb that verdict,” he said.

Bharara additionally noted that at no point did the District Court instruct the jury to convict Gupta based on a Newman-invalidated “mere friendship” theory of benefit.

“Indeed, the ‘friendship’ does not appear in the jury instructions at all. The District Court instead instructed the jury that tipping in furtherance of Gupta’s good and frequent business relationship with Rajaratnam would suffice under the law. Newman says nothing to the contrary,” he said.

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Trump impeachment inquiry hearings begin

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — On the first day of the public Trump impeachment inquiry hearings over the President’s dealings in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified one of his aides heard from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland that the President was focused on triggering investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The aide, David Holmes, reportedly also overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland, where they discussed ‘the investigations.’ Holmes will appear for a closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators Friday. Republican allies of Trump painted the testimony of Taylor and George Kent as hearsay.

More than 100 Indian CEOs, political leaders and even Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone will head Davos in January for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to discuss making ‘cohesive and sustainable world.’ President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also expected to be there.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Shreis Scalene Sciences (Shreis), an American company, a ‘Breakthrough Device Designation’ for the CYTOTRON, a cancer treatment, developed in India, by scientist Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar in Bengaluru.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India, Pakistan trade quips at UNESCO

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PARIS (Diya TV)  — At UNESCO’s general conference in Paris, both Pakistan and India traded quips over Kashmir. Pakistan’s Minister of Education and newly elected President of UNESCO’s Education Commission Shafqat Mehmood efforted to convince UNESCO leadership to confront India over their recent constitutional change affecting Jammu and Kashmir, claiming 1.5 million Kashmiri students who have not been able to attend schools since August 5th. In response, India’s UNESCO delegate Ananya Agarwal countered that “Pakistan is the world’s largest producer and exporter” of terrorism, calling Pakistan’s charges “fabricated falsehoods.”

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Notable executives from the worlds of private investing, industry and nonprofits came together to talk about impact investing at Akshaya Patra’s TAP Forum in the Bay Area. The goal is to take the diasporas success to build a foundation for the next generation.

The Indian women’s hockey team will get the chance to go for the gold in Tokyo, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics after beating team USA in a qualifying match.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House holds hearing on human right violations in Jammu & Kashmir

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, examined the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among those on hand hearing testimony from experts offering widely different narratives. The commission plans to take these perspectives into account before offering recommendations for action by Congress.

In a line of questioning during the impeachment inquiry lauded by many political analysts, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi focused on the timeline of the Ukraine affair, confirming through witness testimony that once Congress began investigating quid pro quo by the Trump administration, security funds were released to Ukraine two days later.

American tech firms are increasingly sponsoring green cards, or permanent US residency, for their employees from India and elsewhere in an effort to hold on to their skilled talent at a time when work visa extensions have become unpredictable.

India will fund at least 250 defense startups over the next five years as it seeks new technologies for their armed forces. The plan is obtain at least 50 ‘tangible innovations’ by the startups for military use.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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