TWENTY-THREE of the 39 charges against Malaysian banker Lorrain Osman are to be dropped, it was revealed yesterday. Mr Clive Nicholls, QC, for the Crown, revealed in Western Court the decision by the Legal Department to drop the charges. Osman will still face nine charges of conspiracy to defraud, one of theft and six of accepting an advantage. The other charges will be formally dropped at his next court appearance. Osman's co-defendant, former Carrian boss George Tan, was not present in court. They were due to appear for the first time together yesterday but Tan is in hospital following a stroke on New Year's Eve which left him partially paralysed. Seven charges will also be dropped against Tan. He will still face 16 - nine of conspiracy to defraud and seven of corruption which will be consolidated with Osman's. Tan was described by his counsel, Mr Gary Alderdice, as being in an ''unstable'' condition. A third round of evidence gathering will start in Kuala Lumpur on February 3 and is expected to last about a month. Osman's lawyer Mr Colin Cohen opposed the lengthy adjournment and asked for an alternative date at the end of February or in early March. But magistrate Mr Hugh Sinclair adjourned the case until May 14 when Tan's and Osman's cases will be consolidated and transferred to the High Court. Osman, 61, was remanded in jail while 58-year-old Tan had bail of $50 million cash and $1 million surety extended.