Prosecutors seek court change for Goldman Sachs’s 1MDB trial

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, arrives for his hearing in Kuala Lumpur. Najib is facing 42 charges of corruption, abuse of power and money laundering linked to the multibillion-dollar looting of 1MDB. (AP)
Updated 22 October 2019

Prosecutors seek court change for Goldman Sachs’s 1MDB trial

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian prosecutors on Tuesday sought a court change for Goldman Sachs’s criminal trial over its role in the alleged multibillion-dollar ransacking of state investment fund 1MDB.

Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, a lawyer for Goldman, said that prosecutors informed the magistrate court now hearing the case that they had applied to transfer it to the high court. He said the lower court scheduled an update on the transfer to be heard Dec. 16.

Prosecutors did not give any reasons for the transfer but a move to a higher court usually reflects the seriousness of the case.

Malaysian and US prosecutors allege bond sales organized by Goldman Sachs for 1MDB provided one of the means for associates of former Malaysian leader Najib Razak to steal billions from a fund that was ostensibly set up to accelerate Malaysia’s economic development.

Three Goldman subsidiaries and two former executives were charged in December for alleged breaches of securities laws including making false, misleading statements to investors. Another 17 more current and former directors at Goldman were charged in August with allegedly conniving to commit the massive fraud.

FASTFACT

Former Malaysian leader Najib Razak set up 1MDB when he took office in 2009.

Hisyam declined to comment on the allegations. Goldman has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Najib set up 1MDB when he took office in 2009, but it accumulated billions in debts and US investigators allege at least $4.5 billion was stolen from the fund and laundered by Najib’s associates.

Public anger over the alleged corruption contributed to the election defeat of Najib’s long-ruling coalition in May 2018. Najib is now on trial for multiple charges of corruption over the 1MDB case and was in the same court building Tuesday for his second trial. Najib denies the charges. His wife and stepson also have been charged over the scandal.


Philippine jobless rate hits record 17.7% in April due to pandemic

Updated 05 June 2020

Philippine jobless rate hits record 17.7% in April due to pandemic

  • The Philippines is facing its biggest economic contraction in more than three decades
  • April’s 17.7 percent unemployment rate equivalent to 7.3 million people without jobs

MANILA: The Philippines’ unemployment rate surged to a record 17.7 percent in April, the statistics agency said on Friday, as millions lost their jobs due to a pandemic-induced lockdown that battered the economy.
The Philippines, which before the pandemic was one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, is facing its biggest contraction in more than three decades after the new coronavirus shuttered businesses and crushed domestic demand.
April’s unemployment rate, which is 7.3 million people without jobs, compares with 5.3 percent in January and 5.1 percent in April last year.
“We should not lose sight of the fact that this loss in employment is really temporary,” Economic Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said in an online news conference.
The lockdown in the capital, Manila, which was one of the world’s longest and strictest, was relaxed as of June 1 to allow much-needed business activity to resume and soften the economic blow of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 20,000 in the country.