Ex-Goldman Sachs’ banker Ng charged

Roger Ng charged in relations to 1MDB; Rosmah claims trial at High Court; and TH officer remanded

by BERNAMA / graphic by TMR

Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker Roger Ng Chong Hwa was charged at the Kuala Lumpur (KL) Sessions Court yesterday on four counts of abetting Goldman Sachs pertaining to the sale of guaranteed notes and bonds belonging to a 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) subsidiary amounting to US$6.5 billion (RM27.17 billion) by omitting material facts and making false statements.

However, Ng, 46, pleaded not guilty to all the charges that were read out to him before Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail.

The court allowed Ng bail at RM1 million in two sureties for all the charges and ordered him to surrender his passport to the court and fixed March 18, 2019, for mention.

Deputy public prosecutor Manoj Kurup had urged the court to set bail at RM1 million in two sureties for all the charges, while Ng, represented by Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, sought a lower bail at RM600,000.

“I have no objection about my client handing over his passport to the court,” Tan said to which Manoj replied: “This is not an ordinary case”.

Meanwhile, the KL Sessions Court in yesterday adjourned hearing of the government’s application to extradite Ng to the US to Jan 4 next year as he was not present in court.

Deputy public prosecutor Shukor Abu Bakar told the court that Ng, is currently held at the Sungai Buloh Prison and was not in court yesterday due to a “misunderstanding”.

Earlier, Judge MM Edwin Paramjothy said the parties could continue with the hearing, but Ng’s lawyer, Tan, insisted for his client to be present.

On Dec 12, the government had filed an application to extradite Ng to the US to face three criminal charges related to 1MDB.

The application was made by the Attorney General’s Chambers on behalf of the US government who wanted Ng to be sent back to the US to face the charges at the Eastern District New York Court.

On Nov 1 this year, Ng was detained by the police and was subsequently remanded for 60 days pending hearing of the extradition application.

The High Court here had on Dec 13 dismissed Ng’s application to be released on bail pending the extradition hearing on grounds that there was a possibility that Ng would abscond from the country, and the case involved the interest of the public and the country as well as the charges against Ng were serious matters.

Meanwhile, former prime minister’s (PM) wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor who is facing 17 counts of money laundering and failing to declare her income involving more than RM7 million to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), maintained her not guilty plea to all the charges in the High Court yesterday.

Rosmah, 67, who was in pink baju kurung and a matching shawl, nodded to all the charges that were read out by the court interpreter, and when asked for her plea, she claimed trial to all the charges.

The case came up for mention for the first time in the High Court before Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan yesterday, after it was transferred from the Sessions Court.

At one juncture, after reading out the 14th charge, the interpreter mistakenly informed the court that Rosmah pleaded guilty, giving Rosmah and those present a shock, but the interpreter was quick to realise the mistake and apologised to the court, informing the court that the accused claimed trail.

Earlier, former federal court Judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who has been appointed senior deputy public prosecutor and leading the prosecution team in the case, requested a new mention date for further case management.

He said on the date to be given by the court, the prosecution would make an oral application for the case to be tried together with another case facing Rosmah, where she is faced with two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM1.5 million in the implementation of a project to supply and instal solar energy at 369 rural schools in Sarawak two years ago.

He also informed the court that the prosecution will submit all the documents on the case to the defence next month.

The court set Jan 25 next year for mention.

Also present at the court were former PM Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and son, Mohd Norashman Najib.

Meanwhile, senior management officer of Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) was ordered to be held in remand for four days to facilitate investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for alleged corruption.

The remand order was issued yesterday by Magistrate Shah Wira Abdul Halim.

According to a source at MACC, the suspect, with the “Datuk” title, was alleged to have received gratification in the form of house renovation costing RM400,000, from a contractor, who was awarded a project costing RM15 million by TH to carry out rebranding of TH branch offices.

He was called up by MACC on Tuesday and arrested at about 8.35pm on the same day. — Bernama