High Court to hear criminal charges against Goldman Sachs over 1MDB bonds

Goldman Sachs lawyer Hisyam Teh at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here will hear the criminal charges filed against Goldman Sachs and its Asian entity for allegedly trying to omit certain facts in the raising of US$6.5 billion worth of bonds for 1MDB’s independent power plant purchases and the Tun Razak Exchange and Bandar Malaysia projects.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan allowed deputy public prosecutor Norinna Bahadun’s application to have the cases against Goldman Sachs International and Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC tried in the High Court.

Lawyer Hisyam Teh, representing Goldman Sachs and Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC, told the court the companies had no objection to the transfer applications.

“The background of these cases is related to the respondents’ role as arrangers of the bonds,” he told the court.

The court also fixed Dec 26 for the next hearing to transfer the case against Goldman’s Singapore entity, Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte.

Deputy public prosecutor Zaki Asyraf Zubir said the charges against Goldman Sachs (Singapore) had not been attached to the summons, and that they would need to be resent.

Goldman Sachs International, its two entities, former banker Tim Leissner, former 1MDB general counsel Loo Ai Swan and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho were slapped with charges related to the issuance of the US$6.5 billion bonds.

Another former banker, Roger Ng, pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court in December last year to four charges of abetting in the alleged offence under Section 179 (c) of the Capital Markets and Services Act.

Another 17 directors from Goldman Sachs International and its two entities were also slapped with charges of abetting under the same act.

Ng is currently in New York to face criminal charges of conspiring to launder money and bribe government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.

The offence of raising the US$6.5 billion bonds allegedly took place between March 19, 2012 and Nov 11, 2013.