Ex-Goldman banker Ng denied bail due to ‘serious flight risk’

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian court denied bail for Roger Ng, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who was charged in the country for his role in 1MDB deals while facing extradition to the U.S. for similar allegations.

Ng’s bail application was dismissed as he is deemed a “serious flight risk" and there was insufficient proof that he was suffering from a debilitating health condition, Judge Edwin Paramjothy Michael Muniandy said on Monday. 

Ng has pleaded not guilty to charges of abetting Goldman’s units in allegedly making false statements to a Malaysian regulator, and he faces extradition to the U.S., where he would be charged with money laundering and bribery.

“My client can’t be in two places at the same time,” Ng’s lawyer Tan Hock Chuan said Friday. Tan sought bail citing Ng’s deteriorating health since being held in custody from November.

It’s unclear how the U.S. and Malaysia would cooperate on legal proceedings relating to Ng and others in a scandal that allegedly saw billions of dollars siphoned from the state fund, whose full name is 1Malaysia Development Bhd. 

The globe-spanning investigation into 1MDB has led to the first criminal charges against Goldman’s units related to their role in arranging $6.5 billion of bond sales for the fund. 

Goldman has said it will “vigorously contest” the charges.

Ng will remain in custody pending the outcome of his extradition process, the judge ruled on Monday. Malaysia has made an application for his extradition to the U.S., with his lawyer set to file an affidavit reply on Feb. 15, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Mahadhir Mohd Khairuddin. 

The case mention date is set for Jan. 22, he said.- Bloomberg

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