1MDB: SC applies to transfer Roger Ng case to another High Court judge

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 7): The prosecution from the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has applied to the High Court here to transfer former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng's Capital Market and Services Act alleged offences case before another High Court judge who is also hearing similar charges.

SC deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan said at present, the cases are being heard before Justices Mohamed Zaini Mazlan and Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin.

“We have applied to transfer all the cases from Justice Zaini to Justice Jamil. Today, the court has fixed Jan 25 next year to hear the SC's application before Justice Zaini to transfer the case from his court to [that of] Justice Jamil,” he said.

Earlier, Izzat had case management before High Court deputy registrar Catherine Nicholas to decide on the date. Appearing for Ng is lawyer Cairns Tan.

Ng, 47, had claimed trial to four charges of abetting Goldman Sachs in the sale of notes and bonds belonging to 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) subsidiaries by omitting material information and publishing untrue statements.

He is charged under Subsection 370(c) of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007, which carries a punishment of up to 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of at least RM1 million, upon conviction.

In the first charge, Ng is accused of abetting Goldman Sachs International in the omission of material facts in the issuance of the 10-year US$1.75 billion bond by 1MDB Energy Ltd, while the second is in relation to omitting material facts in a 10-year US$1.75 billion bond issuance by 1MDB Energy (Langat) Ltd.

The third charge is related to omitting material facts in the issuance of 10-year US$3 billion bond by 1MDB Global Investments Ltd while the fourth concerns abetting the same financial institution in making untrue statements of material facts in offering circulars on the bonds issued by 1MDB Global Investments.

Among material facts allegedly omitted in these charges was "a person named Low Taek Jho, 37, or Jho Low is the principal controller and intermediary of 1MDB". Jho Low, who is a businessman from Penang, is still at large and is currently on the Interpol red list.

Goldman Sachs International was the bookrunner for the three bond issuances.

Two of the cases are fixed before Justice Jamil while the remaining two are before Justice Zaini.

It was previously reported that Ng is in the US and faces trial next year for charges of bribery and money-laundering conspiracy.

Last month, it was reported that Ng wants the case against him to be dismissed, saying he “warned” the bank not to do business with Jho Low.

Ng, who says he told Goldman that Low was “not to be trusted”, is accused of helping former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and others embezzle at least US$2.7 billion from 1MDB. Low is accused of masterminding the scheme.

Ng said in the 126-page filing that the US has no business prosecuting him because the alleged crimes were committed in Malaysia. He also argued that his former boss Tim Leissner, an ex-Goldman banker who has agreed to plead guilty and testify against him, is really the central figure in the scheme because he ultimately persuaded the bank to do business with Jho Low.

On Sept 4, it was reported that the government had dropped its charges against Goldman Sachs after it agreed to a settlement of almost US$4 billion, but the charges against Ng stand.

On July 24, it was announced that Goldman Sachs had agreed to the settlement, which included US$2.5 billion cash and another US$1.4 billion being the guaranteed return of 1MDB assets seized by various authorities around the world in exchange for Malaysia dropping its charges against the bank.

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