After the jury was dismissed yesterday for the weekend, Gupta's lawyer Gary Naftalis told Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan federal court about the possibility of Gupta taking the witness stand in his trial, which began on May 21.
"It was represented to me at the sidebar that Gupta would likely take the stand, given the background of what the court has said," Rakoff asked Gupta's defense lawyers. Naftalis replied that "I can say that it's highly likely that my client will testify."
The revelation about Gupta testifying came as his defense team discussed with the judge its schedule and witness line-up after the prosecution said they were resting their case.
Rakoff said once it is decided that Gupta will take the witness stand, his lawyers should notify the prosecution who would need to prepare. "This is a pretty tough decision to make," Naftalis told Rakoff. "I represent that it's highly likely," he said.
"If we change our mind I will immediately pick up the phone to them and say, 'Put down your pencils.'" Rakoff also told Gupta's defense team that the number of character witnesses it presents should not exceed six.
Naftalis had wanted to put at least a dozen witnesses on the stand and had submitted a list of 20 people who would have testified for Gupta.
Rakoff asked Naftalis whether Gupta would be the last to testify "now that we know the defendant is very likely to take the stand." "He would be at the end," Naftalis said. Gupta's testimony is likely to take most of the day on June 12.