Everyone, including his own defense lawyer Gary Naftalis, agrees that it is risk for Rajat Gupta to take the stand. But, odds are, reports Patricia Hurtado in Bloomberg, that he will take it. Likely that will be toward the end of the trial.
We all know the risks involved. The jurors could perceive him as unlikable and/or arrogant. After all, although he came from nothing he does have the persona of an elite. Also the prosecution can manipulate him into saying something that could be damaging.
So, what we should focus on is what he could accomplish by taking that risk?
For one thing he could present himself as a self-possessed man who did not need the approval of Galleon head Raj Rajaratnam. From what we know of those caught in his web and some of who the jurors are aware of, Rajaratnam tapped into human neediness as a real Machiavellian pro. Gupta could let the jurors know that he is a breed apart.
In addition, he could explain in his own words and with his own framing what he would converse about in his phone calls to Galleon. That could create reasonable doubt that he called to deliver tips.
Also he could provide a chronicle of his deteriorating relationship with Rajaratnam and how he lost money he invested with Galleon. If he did that with the appropriate affect the jurors could regard him as a man with character, common sense, and who also was a victim.
In itself taking the stand is a bold act. The jurors could recognize that Gupta does have courage.
Given the mistrial in the John Edwards' situation, it seems jurors are very sensitive to evidence that is not strong or is circumstantial. Should the federal government lose another big case, it will likely back off the aggressiveness in going after high profile supposed miscreants.