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Ex-banker in 1MDB scandal Roger Ng to come home for April trial

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 6): Ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker Roger Ng Chong Hwa (pictured) will return to Malaysia next March, in time for his trial for abetting the sale of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) bonds totalling US$6.5 billion (RM26.9 billion).

The trial dates have been fixed for April 13-15, 2020 by Sessions Court judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail after hearing submissions from Deputy Public Prosecutor Zaki Asyraf Zubir and lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, who represents Ng.

Ng did not show up at the court yesterday for the case management as he is currently under temporary surrender to the US government, after the US Department of Justice requested for his extradition in order to charge him over 1MDB-related offences there.

The temporary surrender is for a period of 10 months since May.

Zaki told thedgemarkets.com that the defence had requested for the trial to be held in April next year as Ng will only be back in the country by March.

Zaki also said the prosecution is considering applying for a joint trial as the four charges against Ng are currently being heard by two Sessions Court judges.

As such, Sessions Court judge Zamri Bakar has set Jan 20 for case management for the prosecution to update the court of the application for a joint trial before Justice Ahmad Kamal.

On Dec 19, 2018, Ng pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here to four counts of abetting Goldman Sachs over the sale of 1MDB bonds totalling US$6.5 billion by omitting material information and publishing untrue statements.

In the US, Ng faces criminal charges of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, conspiracy to violate the internal accounting control provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and conspiracy to commit money laundering before the US District Court, Eastern District of New York.

It was also reported in November last year that Ng and his family had agreed to surrender about S$40 million to the Singaporean authorities, which would then repatriate the funds to Malaysia.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Nov 6, 2019.

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