Rajaratnam juror leaves case, jury to start again

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The jury in Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam's insider trading trial will have to start deliberations again after one juror was dismissed from the case for medical reasons, the presiding judge said on Wednesday.

"You must disregard your earlier deliberations and begin your deliberations anew," U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell told the jurors. An alternate juror will replace the dismissed juror, and a new foreman must be chosen, he added.

Prosecutors have accused Rajaratnam of reaping as much as $63.8 million illegally by trading on inside tips about such companies as chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc <AMD.N> and Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N>.

Jurors had deliberated for six days prior to Wednesday. Rajaratnam is absent from the courthouse for a personal reason, the judge added. The defendant had also been out on Monday after having surgery for an infected foot over the weekend.

(Reporting by Grant McCool, Basil Katz and Jonathan Stempel, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)