A federal judge in Manhattan on Wednesday refused to prohibit prosecutors in the upcoming United Nations bribery trial from introducing evidence that Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng had the alias “Boss Wu,” despite defense claims that it unfairly implied he was the “sinister, conniving leader of an organized crime ring.”
U.S. District Judge Vincent Broderick said he would allow the nickname on the condition that jurors also be informed that in the original Chinese the word “refers to a supervisor or an individual otherwise entitled to deference owing to one’s superior status position.”
Ng, a prominent real estate tycoon from Macau, is scheduled to go on trial at the end of May on charges that he paid bribes to United Nations officials to gain support for developing a conference center in Macau.
In other rulings, Broderick suppressed Ng’s interrogation after his 2015 arrest, finding that he didn’t properly waive his Miranda rights. Agents at the time probed his ties to a suspected Chinese agent and reasons for bringing large cash sums into the U.S., but Ng denied wrongdoing.
But the judge denied motions to dismiss the charges and said Ng hadn’t produced enough evidence to support his claim that routine contributions to the UN were being charged as bribery because of U.S. hostility to Chinese geopolitical ambitions.
Ng visited a house in Old Brookville that belongs to the suspected Chinese agent just before his arrest. The house figures in two other pending federal cases charging a former China Air agent with obstruction of justice and a China-linked construction company with a forced labor scheme.