Goldman Sachs pleaded not guilty to charges over 1MDB bond sale amounting to RM27.2 billion


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 here today to charges on the sale of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) bonds amounting to RM27.2 billion (US$6.5 billion).

A representative of Goldman Sachs, Ng Keng Leong made the plea after all the charges were read out before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan by the court interpreter during the case management today.

Deputy public prosecutor  Zaki Asyraf Zubir, Norinna Bahadun, Aaron Chelliah and Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam appeared for the prosecution, while lawyers Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Krishna Dallumah, Datuk Prem Ramachandran and Chetan Jethawani represented Goldman Sachs.

Zaki Asyraf  requested all the charges against the three entities to be tried together and also told the court that the prosecution would call 30 witnesses.

Following which, Mohamed Zaini set the hearing to begin in November this year.

The dates are on  Nov 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13, to be continued the following year (2021) on Jan 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8; Feb 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26; March 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17 and 18 and April 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15 .

The court also fixed May 18 for case management.

In December 2018, Malaysia filed four charges against Goldman Sachs International Ltd, Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC and Goldman Sachs (Singapore) for allegedly leaving out material facts on the sales of bonds between a subsidiary of 1MDB and Aabar Investment PJS Ltd (Aabar).

The offences were allegedly committed at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), 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 and punishable under Section 182 of the same Act which provides for imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years and fined not less than RM1 million, upon conviction.

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