Attorneys for Raj Rajaratnam have filed a brief to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to reverse an order compelling them to turn over wiretap evidence to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Galleon civil case.
The SEC wants the FBI’s wiretap evidence to bolster its civil suit against Raj and the other defendants but, the defendants are resisting, in part, because they say it was obtained illegally and are trying to suppress the evidence in the criminal case.
The brief argues, in part, that Judge Jed Rakoff's order forcing them to turn over the wiretaps to the SEC, is unconstitutional and attempts to “end-run” strict Title III disclosure limitations governing the release of wiretap recordings. In short, Raj’s lawyers argue that the decision will allow any court or tribunal anywhere, at any time, to compel a criminal defendant to hand over raw wiretaps for use in a civil case. Here’s more from the brief:
The order compelling the release of more than 18,000 sealed wiretaps of conversations among 655 individuals to 15 civil litigants took place 1) prior to any review of their legality 2) prior to their public disclosure under Title III 3) prior to the conclusion of pending criminal trials and 4) without the participation of the judge with jurisdiction over the sealed wiretaps.