The lawyer for Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam told a jury yesterday that the ex-billionaire traded only on freely available public information when he made the millions the government claims was the result of illegal insider trading.

At the opening of Mr. Rajaratnam’s trial before Southern District Judge Richard J. Holwell, defense attorney John M. Dowd of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld vowed to hit the charges against his client “head on.” He told the jury that public announcements by companies, investor meetings and public filings will prove without a doubt that the inside tips Mr. Rajaratnam supposedly received were merely pieces of information in plain sight.