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AGC: Prosecution didn't have all documents prior to charging ex-Goldman banker

KUALA LUMPUR (March 18): The Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) today denied that it did not have any documents prior to its decision to charge the ex-Goldman Sachs banker linked to 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, Roger Ng.

Deputy public prosecutors Zaki Asyraf Zubir and Aaron Abhilash Paul Chelliah, who appeared on behalf of the AGC, told the Sessions Court today that the prosecution did have some documents but just not the full set.

They said this following Ng's counsel Datuk Tan Hock Chuan complaining to the court that the defence had yet to receive any document from the prosecution to prepare itself for the trial.

The prosecution admitted to the court that the supporting documents which ahould be used in this case were incomplete and requested the court not to make any order to ask the AGC to hand over all the documents before the next case management date.

The prosecution said the issue in this case was a bit complicated as it involved documents both locally and internationally.

Zaki also told the court that the prosecution has informed the Magistrates Court this morning that they have served the summons issued by the court earlier to Goldman Sachs Singapore.

However, they have yet to serve the summons to Goldman Sachs United Kingdom and Hong Kong (HK).

"It's just a process to tell the court that the summons issued by the Magistrates Court has been served," he said.

According to the prosecution, while Goldman Sachs International, which is based in United Kingdom, was the principle offender, the summons against the three entities namely Goldman Sachs UK, HK and Singapore are related to the issuance of documents with misleading statements and material omissions to investors and potential investors, which is an offense under Capital Markets and Services Act 2007.

Zaki said the prosecution began the process of serving the summons and the magistrate then fixed the next mention date on June 24, 2019.

"Thus, the prosecution is of the view that it would be more practical to have Ng's case mention together with the summons," he said.

Earlier, Tan told the court that up till today, the defence had not been served any papers from the prosecution even though it had written to the AGC on Dec 31 last year for documents to be served under section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Act.

He stressed that the defence could not agree with the prosecution which required the court to fix the case for mention in June this year.

"It's too long, Yang Arif, and my learned friend (prosecution) said they need to get documents from overseas.

"Are we saying there was no document before the charging? Are we saying that the investigation was incomplete when the charges were being heard on Dec 19, 2018?" he added.

Tan said that under section 43 of the Extradition Act, his client should have been surrendered to the United States to face three criminal charges not later than 90 days, and Ng can be extradited earlier but not later.

In other words, Ng shall be surrendered to the US by May 15, 2019.

He said the case management or mention date proposed by the prosecution was not suitable and he suggested that the next case management to be held not later than 30 days from today, taking into account the factors which the defence had made.

The documents must be served as soon as possible and shouldn't be served partially, Tan added.

He stressed that his client had waived the extradition proceedings in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Feb 15 this year and he's waiting to be surrendered to the US.

The Session Court judge Hasbullah Adam then fixed the case for further case management on April 15. However, he did not make any order with regard to what documents shall be served to the defence.

On Dec 19 last year, Ng, whose full name is Ng Chong Hwa, 47, pleaded not guilty in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to four counts of abetting with Goldman Sachs over the sale of 1MDB bonds, totalling US$6.5 billion, by leaving out material facts and making false statements. — theedgemarkets.com

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