updated 4/28/2004 2:44:06 PM ET 2004-04-28T18:44:06

Prosecutors sought to show Wednesday that Frank Quattrone was intimately involved in the allocation of stocks his bank took public — a key point in the retrial of their case that he obstructed a federal probe into the process.

In several hours of tense cross-examination of the former star investment banker, prosecutor David Anders showed him a series of e-mails showing that other parts of the bank asked his advice on who should get stock shares.

In one case, Quattrone was asked for his thoughts on how many shares of AvantGo, a company Credit Suisse First Boston was taking public, should be given to Jim Balsille, CEO of another company, Research in Motion.

“We can’t do something where it looks like we are ’spinning,”’ Quattrone answered, referring to a frowned-upon process for wooing investment-banking business. “Would like to be on generous side of what can be defended.”

Jurors must determine whether Quattrone meant to obstruct justice when he sent an e-mail to CSFB bankers on Dec. 5, 2000, encouraging them to destroy documents.

Quattrone had been told two days earlier that a federal grand jury was investigating the bank’s IPO allocation process.

In another e-mail, Quattrone jumped into a discussion over whether a CSFB client called Integral Partners should receive special treatment in an upcoming IPO.

“Isn’t it fair to say that this e-mail shows you and Mr. Brady were involved in the IPO allocation process?” Anders asked, referring to another high-ranking CSFB banker. “Yes,” Quattrone answered.

But the former banker insists — and repeated Wednesday — he never made any final decisions on allocations, and that he was not thinking about allocations when he sent the document e-mail to his investment bankers.

Quattrone was tried on the same charges — two counts of obstruction and a single count of witness tampering — last fall, but the case ended in a mistrial, with jurors deadlocked.

At that trial, jurors said later that Quattrone had hurt his case by appearing combative on the witness stand.

Prosecutors also tried to trap Quattrone on Wednesday by contrasting testimony he gave at the first trial about his knowledge of federal grand juries with testimony he gave at the retrial earlier this week.

At the first trial, Quattrone said he did not know whether a grand jury was a foreign concept to him when he sent his e-mail. At the retrial, he said he had some basic knowledge of what a grand jury was.

Pressed on the difference by Anders, Quattrone said, “If this is an accurate representation of the words I said, then I may have misspoken, and I apologize.”

Court proceedings Wednesday also featured more tense exchanges between Quattrone lawyer John W. Keker and the presiding judge, Richard Owen — moments that have been common in both trials.

When Quattrone tried to elaborate on an answer early in the day, the judge cut him off, instructing him to answer with a simple yes or no.

Keker jumped up. “Your Honor, I object to you interrupting his answer when he’s trying to answer a question,” he said.

“Well, your objection is noted,” the judge answered, appearing irritated.

Keker filed a motion with the judge late Tuesday urging him to be more fair in his rulings from the bench, contending that he has allowed prosecutors much more leeway in their questioning than he has allowed the defense.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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