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Chinese billionaire’s UN bribery case may go to jury

Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng, left, leaves federal

Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng, left, leaves federal court with his attorney Ben Brafman after he was released on bail in connection with a U.N. bribery scheme in New York, Oct. 26, 2015. Credit: AP

A Manhattan federal judge late Wednesday finished instructing jurors in the trial of Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng for allegedly paying more than $1 million in bribes to United Nations diplomats, setting the stage for the start of deliberations on Thursday.

Ng, 69, is accused of making payoffs to two ambassadors to win support for a convention center for developing countries in his native Macau, which he hoped would anchor a massive development including a hotel, marina, apartments and commercial space.

The jury instructions followed a monthlong trial and nearly two full days of closing arguments. Lawyers for Ng contend his payments were donations to try to develop the center as a “public-private partnership,” and he was exploited and betrayed.

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