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Roger Ng's 1MDB bond cases to be tried at KL High Court

KUALA LUMPUR (April 20): The High Court here will hear the cases of former Goldman Sachs International banker, Roger Ng Chong Hwa, who was charged with four counts of abetting Goldman Sachs pertaining to the sale of guaranteed notes and bonds belonging to a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary amounting to US$6.5 billion.

Deputy public prosecutor Zaki Asyraf Zubir, however, said that the court had yet to fix the trial dates for the cases.

When contacted, he said the prosecution had applied to transfer the cases from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

“The prosecution had made the application at the High Court before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan and on Feb 26 this year, the judge allowed our application,” he said.

The prosecution applied for the cases to be transferred due to, among others, the novel and the complexity of the facts involved.

“These cases involve Section 179(c) of Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 (CMSA) and other provisions of the CMSA wherein questions of law of unusual difficulty are likely to arise.

“Due to novel and difficult issues of law surrounding these provisions, and the complexity of the facts involved, it is expedient for the ends of the justice for this matter to be tried before the High Court,” the prosecution said.

On Dec 19, 2018, Ng was charged at the Sessions Court here with four counts of abetting Goldman Sachs pertaining to the sale of guaranteed notes and bonds belonging to a 1MDB subsidiary, amounting to US$6.5 billion, by omitting material facts and making false statements.

He was alleged to have committed the offences at the 1MDB office, at Level 8, Menara IMC, No. 8, Jalan Sultan Ismail here between March 19, 2012,  and Nov 11, 2013 and was charged Subsection 370(c) of Capital Markets and Services Act 2007, with a punishment of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine not less than RM1 million upon conviction.

Ng, 47, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

On Feb 24, 2020, UK-based Goldman Sachs International Ltd and its Asian entities, Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC and Goldman Sachs (Singapore), pleaded not guilty at the High Court  to charges on the sale of the same 1MDB  bonds (US$6.5 billion).

A representative of Goldman Sachs, Ng Keng Leong made the plea after all the charges were read out before Justice Mohamed Zaini and the judge has set the hearing to begin on Nov 9 this year.

Asked whether Ng’s case to be jointly tried with the case of Goldman Sachs, Zaki Asyraf replied “most probably”.

In May last year, Ng was extradited to the US to face criminal charges by the US Department of Justice in relation to the 1MDB scandal.

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