Macau billionaire in U.N. bribe case seeks immediate trial

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – A billionaire real estate developer from Macau who is accused by U.S. prosecutors of bribing a former United Nations General Assembly president, demanded an immediate trial yesterday as his lawyer said his businesses were suffering.

Ng Lap Seng, 68, was arrested on Sept. 19 and facing the prospect of waiting several months more before trial, a lawyer for Ng urged a federal judge in Manhattan to start it within weeks.

The lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said “irreparable damage” was being done to his client. He cited conditions at businesses owned by Ng, who has a $1.8 billion net worth and developments in the Chinese territory Macau.

“Businesses are beginning to suffer substantial setbacks,” Brafman said in court. “It’s not fair. We’re asking for an immediate trial.”

His request was joined by a lawyer for Jeff Yin, Ng’s assistant, who like his boss is accused of scheming to bribe John Ashe, a former U.N. ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda who was U.N. General Assembly president from 2013 to 2014.

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