Kong Hee arriving in court with his lawyer Edwin Tong
After a lunch appointment in the vicinity of the Subordinate Courts, I decided to drop in to watch the high-profile multimillion-dollar corruption trial involving six City Harvest Church leaders. Singapore's most-anticipated corruption trial commenced this morning.
The courtroom was packed for both morning and afternoon sessions. A security guard told me that some people started queuing outside the courthouse for seats as early as 11 pm the night before. I went up to Courtroom 3 on Level 7. Several members of City Harvest Church were queuing outside. Alas, it seems there is no chance I could watch this trial in court.
President of City Harvest Church's management board Kong Hee, vice-president Tan Ye Peng, board member John Lam Leng Hung, investment manager Chew Eng Han, finance manager Sharon Tan Shao Yuen and finance manager Serina Wee Gek Yin, are accused of misappropriating millions of dollars to fund the music career of Sun Ho.
Pastor Kong Hee
Kong Hee, John Lam, Chew Eng Han, Tan Ye Peng and Serina Wee allegedly misused church buildings funds amounting to S$24 million by channelling the money into two companies, Xtron Productions and PT The First National Glassware (Firna), as bond investments. The misappropriation allegedly took place between January 2007 and October 2008.
Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan arriving in court with Tan Ye Peng
Chew Eng Han, Tan Ye Peng, Serina Wee and Sharon Tan are said to have misappropriated some S$26 million to cover up the first sum. They also face four counts of conspiring to falsify accounts, said to have happened between April and October 2009.
Leading the prosecution is Mavis Chionh, who will be assisted by five others. They are Mr Tan Kiat Pheng, Mr Christopher Ong Siu Jin, Ms Grace Goh, Mr Joel Chen and Mr Jeremy Yeo.
Senior District Judge See Kee Oon presides over the trial.
Credit : Channelnewsasia.com