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Australia cartel case against Citi, Deutsche delayed by late night witness statement

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An Australian criminal cartel lawsuit against Citigroup Inc and Deutsche Bank AG was postponed on Tuesday after defense lawyers complained the prosecution had given them a redacted statement for a key witness late on the previous day.

FILE PHOTO: The Citigroup Inc (Citi) logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

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SYDNEY: An Australian criminal cartel lawsuit against Citigroup Inc and Deutsche Bank AG was postponed on Tuesday after defense lawyers complained the prosecution had given them a redacted statement for a key witness late on the previous day.

Though for just one day, the delay raises the chance of pre-trial hearings running into next year, eroding hopes of a swift resolution to a case that is being closely watched by investment bankers around the world since it may change how they run capital raising.

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The two investment banks and their former client, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) , and several of their former executives are charged with withholding information from investors about a AUS$2.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) share issue for ANZ in 2015.

Defence lawyers had planned on Tuesday to start cross-examining investigators from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which brought the charges, about how they took witness statements from a third investment bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co , which also worked on the stock issue but cooperated in exchange for immunity.

But the defense told the court on Tuesday they had been given what they deemed a crucial ACCC investigator's signed statement, running to about 100 pages with some information obscured, at 9.30 p.m. local time on Monday. That meant they could not proceed with questioning as planned, it said.

"It is particularly troubling that we are provided with these statements in this way at this time," Citigroup lawyer Dean Jordan told a pre-trial hearing in Sydney.

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The defense had been trying to get information from the regulator about its case outside the courtroom "fRead More – Source