By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday granted a bid by former Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> board member Rajat Gupta to remain free on bail while he appeals his insider-trading conviction.
A two-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York granted Gupta's request following a hearing. Gupta had been scheduled to surrender January 8 to start a two-year prison sentence.
"Motion is granted," Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes said in a ruling from the bench.
Gupta, 64, was convicted in June of leaking Goldman Sachs boardroom secrets to Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge-fund manager at the center of a U.S. government crackdown on insider trading over the past four years.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan sentenced Gupta in October to two years in prison. Gupta has been free on $10 million bail.
The 2nd Circuit had earlier denied Rajaratnam's similar bid to remain free on bail pending his appeal, which was argued October 25. Rajaratnam is serving an 11-year prison sentence.
The case is USA v. Rajat Gupta, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No 12-4448.
(Reporting By Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Martha Graybow and Andrew Hay)
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