New York, July 25 (PTI): An Indian-origin law student has sued Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor Preet Bharara and the US justice department.
The student claims that she was unlawfully questioned and her mobile phone confiscated after she sent letters to the presiding judge during Rajat Gupta’s insider trading trial.
Benula Bensam, 24, who regularly attended Gupta’s trial, filed a 16-page lawsuit against Bharara, prosecutors Reed Brodsky, Richard Tarlowe and the US Marshals Service said.
In the lawsuit Bensam says that she was subjected to “unreasonable search and seizure for unlawful stop, detention, interrogation, seizure of property, search of property, search of communications and demand for identification”. She is representing herself in the lawsuit.
Bensam had sent three letters to Judge Rakoff relating to the Gupta case.
A law student at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, New York, Bensam said she had taken a class on federal rules of evidence during her last semester and the letters to Rakoff focused on the various evidentiary rulings he had made in the case and were not intended to influence him.
Bensam said in the lawsuit that she wanted to “understand the process of litigation” and intended to follow the case on a “general level”. “At no point had anyone informed me that I must not direct letters about the ongoing trial.”