AGC: Prosecution didn't have all documents prior to charging ex-Goldman banker

From left: Deputy public prosecutors Aaron Abhilash Paul Chelliah and Zaki Asyraf Zubir

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 18): The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) told a court on Monday that it had some documents but not the complete set relating to ex-Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng’s case involving the misleading of investors of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) bonds.

Deputy public prosecutors Zaki Asyraf Zubir and Aaron Abhilash Paul Chelliah told the Sessions Court that the prosecution had some supporting documents but not the full set.

They said this after Ng's counsel Datuk Tan Hock Chuan complained to the court that the defence had yet to receive any document from the prosecution to prepare for the trial.

Ng, 47, was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Dec 19 last year with four counts of abetting Goldman Sachs in the sale of 1MDB bonds totalling US$6.5 billion, by leaving out material facts and making false statements. He pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution admitted to the court that the supporting documents which were to be used in the case were incomplete.  The DPPs asked the court not to make any order for the AGC to hand over all the documents before the next case management date.

The prosecution said the issue in this case was a bit complicated as it involved documents that needed to be obtained from both local and international sources.

Zaki told the court that the prosecution had informed the Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning that they have served the summons issued by the court earlier to Goldman Sachs Singapore.

However, they had yet to serve the summons to Goldman Sachs United Kingdom and Hong Kong.

“It’s just a process to tell the court that the summons issued by the Magistrate’s Court has been served,” he said.

According to the prosecution, Goldman Sachs International which is based in the United Kingdom was the principal offender. The summons against the three entities namely Goldman Sach UK, HK and Singapore is related to the issuance of documents with misleading statements and material omissions to the investors and potential investors, which is an offence under Capital Markets and Services Act 2007.

Zaki said the prosecution began the process of serving the summons and the magistrate then fixed the next mention date for June 24, 2019.

"Thus, the prosecution is of the view that it would be more practical to have Ng’s case mentioned together with the summons,” he said.

Earlier, Tan told the court that up till today, the defence had not been served any papers from the prosecution even though they had written to the AGC on December 31 last year for documents to be served.

He stressed that it could not agree with the prosecution which required the court to fix the case for mention in June this year.

“It’s too long, Yang Arif, and my learned friend (prosecution) said they need to get documents from overseas.

“Are we saying there were no documents before the charging? Are we saying that the investigation was incomplete when the charges were being heard on December 19, 2018?” he asked.

Tan said, under Section 43 of the Extradition Act, his client should have been surrendered to the United States to face three criminal charges not later than 90 days, and Ng can be extradited earlier but not later.

In other words, Ng must be surrendered to the US by May 15, 2019.

He said, the case management or mention date proposed by the prosecution is not suitable and he suggested that the next case management to be held not later than 30 days from Monday taking into account the factors which the defence had made.

Sessions Court judge Hasbullah Adam then fixed the case for further case management on April 15. However, he did not make any order with regards to what documents must be served to the defence.

Deputy public prosecutor Aaron told reporters that the prosecution will issue fresh summonses on Goldman Sachs UK and Hong Kong, asking them to be present in court on June 24 this year.

He said, the prosecution had begun the summons process but Goldman Sachs UK did not respond to it.

The AGC needs them to respond by June to the criminal charges filed against them last year.

AGC had charged three units of Goldman Sachs with misleading investors and potential investors by making untrue statements and omitting key facts in relation to bonds issued totalling US$6.5 billion for state fund 1MDB.

However, only the representative from Goldman Sachs Singapore appeared in the Magistrate's Court on Monday morning.