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Goldman Sachs case faces delay as issuance of summons hits snag

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 14): The High Court has set Feb 5 for another mention of the government's RM27.2 billion (US$6.5 billion) 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) bond cases against Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte Ltd.

Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan fixed the date today as deputy public prosecutor Zaki Asyraf Zubir had requested for the delay, because the notice of summons against Goldman Sachs (Singapore) is still in the process of being served.

Zaki had told Justice Zaini that the delay was because Goldman had rejected the notice as there was no date stated on it.

"There was no date on the summons issued to Singapore. Due to that Singapore refused to accept our summons served to them. It's been served but they rejected it. They required a new date to be added before they accept it," he told the court.

Following the explanation, Justice Zaini set Feb 5 to hear the latest status on the matter.

The court previously fixed today to hear the prosecution's application to transfer the case involving Goldman Sachs (Singapore) from the Magistrate's Court to the High Court.

Before the case can be transferred to the High Court, the summons must be served on the accused.

Also present were lawyers Krishna Dallumah and Datuk Prem Ramachandran, representing Goldman Sachs (Singapore).

Magistrate Nur Farah Ain Roslan had agreed to issue a new summons with the correct date and charges.

In December last year, Malaysia filed four charges against Goldman Sachs for allegedly leaving out material facts on the sale of bonds between a subsidiary of 1MDB and Aabar Investment PJS Ltd.

The offences were allegedly committed at 1MDB's premises at Level 8, Menara IMC, No. 8, Jalan Sultan Ismail here, between March 19, 2012, and Nov 11, 2013.

The company was charged under Section 179(c) of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007, which carries a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years and a fine of not less than RM1 million, upon conviction.

Former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng Chong Hwa had also claimed trial to four counts of abetting the company, in reference to the sale of the same bonds by omitting material facts and making false statements.

The US Department of Justice has estimated that about US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB between 2009 and 2014.

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