The bribery and money-laundering trial of a former Goldman Sachs govt was thrown into turmoil after federal prosecutors — for the second time in a bit of over every week — stated the federal government had did not promptly flip over hundreds of pages of emails and different private paperwork belonging to a key witness for the prosecution.
The federal decide presiding over the trial of Roger Ng in Brooklyn stated Wednesday that the federal government’s failure to provide paperwork was “notably troubling” and would lead to a delay within the proceedings in order that protection attorneys had time to assessment the extra supplies.
“I’m going to present the protection as a lot time as they want,” stated Decide Margo Ok. Brodie, the chief decide for the Japanese District of New York, throughout a quick listening to with the jury.
She made her choice after Marc Agnifilo, certainly one of Mr. Ng’s attorneys, stated he was contemplating asking the decide to declare a mistrial. He added that he would possibly ask for the costs in opposition to his shopper to be dismissed due to what he known as “authorities misconduct.”
Decide Brodie provided no perception on how she would possibly rule on these requests. However a mistrial could be a surprising growth within the case, 16 months after Goldman pleaded guilty to a legal cost and paid $5 billion in fines for its position in a far-reaching overseas corruption and bribery scheme involving a giant Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
Mr. Ng, who was a banker for Goldman in Malaysia, is prone to be the one individual to face trial in america over the scandal, for the reason that mastermind of the scheme — Jho Low — is a fugitive and believed to be dwelling in China.
In a letter filed with the court docket late Tuesday, federal prosecutors stated they’d simply develop into conscious that about 15,000 emails and different paperwork belonging to the federal government’s star witness, Timothy Leissner, have been by no means turned over to the protection. They added that the belated discovery of these paperwork was an “inexcusable error” and that they have been open to a delay within the trial, which started on Feb. 14.
Prosecutors blamed the issue on one other crew of presidency attorneys tasked with reviewing the paperwork to verify they could possibly be supplied to protection attorneys with out violating any of Mr. Leissner’s rights. The same subject arose after the trial began when the federal government belatedly turned over 120,000 pages of emails and different paperwork belonging to Mr. Leissner, a former Goldman companion.
“We’re nonetheless going over the 120,000 pages we obtained,” Mr. Agnifilo stated. “This can be a categorical failure.”
The break is prone to final for a number of days after Mr. Leissner wraps up his direct testimony. He agreed to cooperate with the federal government and pleaded responsible in 2018 for his half within the brazen scheme to loot greater than $4 billion from Malaysia’s 1MDB fund. He additionally agreed to forfeit about $47 million in ill-gotten good points and is predicted to be sentenced this summer time.
Beginning final week, Mr. Leissner has been strolling the jury by means of the main points of the scheme. He testified that he and Mr. Ng had been integral gamers within the plot to make use of a few of the looted cash to pay bribes to overseas officers in order that Goldman would safe the rights to rearrange $6.5 million in bonds for the 1MDB fund.
He testified that each he and Mr. Ng have been at a 2012 assembly the place Mr. Low described the plan to pay bribes. Mr. Leissner stated Mr. Low, a flamboyant Malaysian businessman with a penchant for top dwelling, had informed the previous Goldman executives that they’d be “taken care of.”
Mr. Leissner additionally testified that he had used $10 million of the looted 1MDB cash to purchase a home for a former girlfriend. He stated he had purchased the home to cease the girlfriend from alerting the authorities to his actions.
Prosecutors have claimed that Mr. Ng and his spouse obtained as much as $35 million in illicit proceeds from the scheme. However Mr. Agnifilo has stated the cash got here from professional unrelated transactions. He stated the $35 million had been owed to Mr. Ng’s spouse by Mr. Leissner’s former spouse, Judy Chan, who owns a big winery in China.
Mr. Agnifilo stated the paperwork that the federal government had been gradual in producing could possibly be crucial to his shopper’s protection. He stated Covid-19 restrictions had restricted his capacity to pursue investigative leads in Asia.