3 May 2012. Astro All Asia Networks, the Malaysian pay-TV group that owns Hong Kong-based film company Celestial Pictures, yesterday issued a denial of criminal allegations made against its CEO and executive deputy chairman Ralph Marshall.
A warrant for the arrest of Marshall was issued in Indonesia, alleging fraud and money laundering. The charges are understood to stem from Astro’s dispute with the Lippo Group, over Direct Vision, a failed pay-TV joint venture in Indonesia.
Astro’s lawyer, Hafzan Taher said “Astro and Lippo had a commercial dispute and decided to resolve it through international arbitration. Lippo lost the case and was ordered to pay up to $300 million in damages to Astro, and it is trying to avoid doing so by filing criminal charges against Marshall,”
Earlier press reports saying that Interpol had issued a “red corner” notice for the arrest of Marshall have so far not been correct. However, Marshall can be arrested if he travels to Indonesia.
Indian investigators have named Marshall and Astro group boss Ananda Krishnan have also both been named in another corruption case, but not charged, Krishnan’s Maxis acquired a stake in Indian mobile phone operator Airtel, after allegedly paying over $100 million to the Indian telecoms minister and his brother. Marshall was a non-executive director of Maxis. He, Krishnan and the minister Dayanidhi Maran all deny the allegations.