The basics of discovery in a legal case are pretty simple, and there is arguably nothing more basic than having to turn over the fruits of the search warrants executed on the man who, whatever his moral failings, is now your star witness. And yet, once again, the good people are the federal prosecutors’ office in Manhattan—the alleged cream of the crop when it comes to this sort of thing—have again failed to understand their obligations until it is arguably a bit too late. And in the case of Roger Ng, the former Goldman Sachs banker standing trial for his alleged role in bilking the government of Malaysia out of billions, there looks to be a lot of arguing to come.
Prosecutors in a letter filed to the court Wednesday morning said they had been notified the night before of a collection of 15,500 documents that hadn’t been turned over to Mr. Ng’s lawyers for review in preparation for his trial. Prosecutors called the misstep an “inexcusable error” and said they supported adjourning the trial while the defense team reviewed the information…. “What’s particularly troubling to the court is that I sat here and asked the government if you did a thorough review and [if] all the relevant disclosures were made,” the judge said. “I don’t know what the solution is going to be eventually but we’re going to take it one step at a time.”
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