KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 16): The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) US$6.5 billion bonds criminal case against Goldman Sachs and one of its Asian entities has been transferred to the High Court from the Magistrates Court here today.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Norinna Bahadun had applied to have the case against Goldman Sachs International and Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC tried at the High Court.

This application was then allowed by High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan this morning following no objection raised by Goldman Sachs' counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.

"I take the view that this matter be heard in the High Court. Cases are to be transferred to High Court," the judge said this morning.

The judge also set Boxing Day to hear the application to transfer the US$6.5 billion bonds case against Goldman Sachs (Singapore) PTE — another Goldman Sachs entity— from the lower courts to the High Court.

Justice Zaini set this date because the service of the notice of summons against Goldman Sachs (Singapore) PTE is still in process.

Malaysia is the first country in the world to prosecute Goldman Sachs as a company, filing charges against Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC, Goldman Sachs International (UK) and Goldman Sachs (Singapore), and is seeking US$2.7 billion in fines.

The government alleges that Goldman Sachs misled investors in the issue of the three 1MDB bonds. It is also demanding the return of US$600 million that the investment bank pocketed as fees.

Malaysia has announced separate charges against 17 current and former Goldman Sachs executives, whom it accuses of misleading investors by making false statements and omitting key facts in relation to the 1MDB-related bond issues worth US$6.5 billion.

The offence of raising the US$6.5 billion bonds allegedly took place between March 19, 2012 and Nov 11, 2013.

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