Ex-Goldman Ng Extradition Delayed Until After Malaysia Cases
(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia will only extradite Roger Ng, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker, after he has completed legal proceedings in local courts.
Minister of Home Affairs Muhyiddin Yassin said the extradition is likely to be delayed as priority is given to his cases in Malaysia, state news agency Bernama reported. A Malaysian court ruled last week that Ng would be sent to the U.S. to face additional charges linked to troubled state fund 1MDB, pending an order from the home ministry.
Muhyiddin said he was following the advice of Attorney-General Tommy Thomas that Ng must first face the Malaysian charges, Bernama reported. Ng’s case mention date in Kuala Lumpur has been set for March 18.
Prosecutors in the U.S. and Malaysia are seeking to indict Ng in relation to his role in $6.5 billion of bond sales that Goldman arranged for 1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Bhd. He was deputy to Goldman’s former Southeast Asia chairman Tim Leissner, who has pleaded guilty to U.S. charges including conspiring to launder money.
Malaysia has accused the lender of misleading investors in helping 1MDB raise funds through three bond sales, while knowing that the money would be misappropriated. Ng, who has denied wrongdoing, and Leissner were charged with abetting Goldman in allegedly submitting false statements to a local regulator as part of the issuance. Goldman has said that it will “vigorously defend” against the allegations.
The expected delay to Ng’s extradition may raise questions about the Malaysian authorities’ willingness to cooperate with the U.S. and other jurisdictions in getting to the bottom of the global scandal.
Ng’s lawyer said last week that he had already reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department on bail and its terms, and will defend his case on its merits in the Eastern District Court of New York. He had expected to be sent to the U.S. within a month of the court decision allowing the extradition, after being said to fight the U.S. motion in November.
Malaysia is confident that it’ll be able to gather all the evidence needed when the time comes to present it to court, Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said in a Tuesday interview.
“This is a case that not only Malaysians but everyone around the world wants to see closure, and not only closure, but the people who are responsible have to be punished,” he said. “I can only say that all of the countries that are known or said to be involved have been very cooperative.”
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