<HTML><HEAD> <META name=GENERATOR content="MSHTML 8.00.6001.19019"></HEAD> <BODY> <DIV id=content class=span-16> <H1 class="cN-headingPage prepend-5 span-11 last">Ng knew company made 'grey' information </H1> <DIV class="push-0 span-11 last"><!-- cT-storyDetails --> <DIV class="cT-storyDetails cfix"> <H5>John Garnaut Beijing, Zhang Yufei, Guangzhou </H5><CITE>August 12, 2011</CITE> <!--<ul> --><!-- --></DIV> <DIV id=googleAds class="ad adSpot-textBox"></DIV><BOD> <DIV class=articleBody><!-- cT-imageLandscape --> <DIV class=cT-imageLandscape><IMG alt="The plot thickens ... Australian businessman Matthew Ng pictured with his wife, Niki Chow." src="ctsipad-art-wide-5-matthew-ng-420x0.jpg"> <P>The plot thickens ... Australian businessman Matthew Ng pictured with his wife, Niki Chow. </P></DIV> <P>THE Australian entrepreneur Matthew Ng knew his company made a 100,000 yuan ($15,340) ''grey'' payment to an official in exchange for information, his lawyer said in court yesterday.</P> <P>The lawyer Chen Youxi said Mr Ng's company made the payment to an official at the state-owned giant Sinochem group in order to learn about upcoming changes in tourism regulations.</P> <P>He described it as a ''public relations exercise'' which was common in Chinese business, but the prosecution said it was ''embezzlement''.</P> <P>But Mr Ng denied knowledge of a complex series of intra-group transactions, involving opaque agent fees, which had the effect of boosting the group's registered capital by 130 million yuan ($19.9 million).</P> <P>The court heard that a large transaction between Mr Ng's company, Et-China, and its Guangzhou acquisition target GZL was a properly documented bridging loan, rather than a fraudulent accounting trick as alleged by the prosecution.</P> <P>The third and last day of Mr Ng's trial at the Guanghzou Intermediate People's Court fleshed out the four charges of embezzlement, misallocation of capital and bribery against Mr Ng.</P> <P>It also provided further insights into the inner workings of Communist Party business.</P> <P>The court heard the Communist Party's feared anti-corruption body, the Discipline &amp; Inspection Commission pressured Matthew Ng's wife, Niki Chow, to write to her detained husband and urge him to hand over the multi-million dollar business to Guangzhou Lingnan in exchange for his freedom.</P> <P>The commission also detained, interrogated and pressured Mr Ng's colleague, Kitty Yang, to do the same.</P> <P>Mr Ng's lawyer said the criminal charges against Mr Ng are punishment for Mr Ng failing to do as he was told.</P> <P>Most seats in the court have been occupied by Lingnan executives, while most foreign and Chinese media as well as relatives have failed to gain entry.</P> <P>The judgment and sentencing for Mr Ng and his two co-accused are expected within weeks.</P> <P><B>with Zhang Yufei, Guangzhou</B></P></DIV></BOD></DIV></DIV></BODY></HTML>