A short summary of the CHC Trial so far.
Kong Hee, founder and senior pastor of CHC, husband of Sun Ho
Tan Ye Peng, deputy senior pastor of CHC.
Chew Eng Han, formerly a CHC board member. He resigned after CHC appointed his company, AMAC Capital Partners, to be its fund manager.
Serina Wee, former CHC finance manager, director and shareholder of Advante Consulting
Sharon Tan, CHC finance manager
John Lam, CHC board member and Chairman of the CHC Investment Committee from 2007 to 2008.
The six are charged with criminal breach of trust for allegedly misusing more than S$50 million of the church’s Building Fund for the Crossover Project—S$24 million to fund it and another S$26.6 million to cover the tracks of the first amount.
The Crossover Project aimed to use pop culture as a means of evangelism. It involved Ho recording and launching secular music albums in Asia and the US for the purpose of connecting with non-Christian youths and becoming a good role model and influence.
THE CASE SO FAR:
The prosecution team from the Attorney General’s Chambers led the trial, calling up seven witnesses so far.
The first tranche of the trial in May saw accountants Lai Bao Ting from City Harvest Church and Angie Koh from Advante, as well as Xtron director Koh Siew Ngea taking the stand as the prosecution attempted to show that Xtron was a shell company used to funnel funds to the Crossover Project. The prosecution also tried to show that the church’s external auditor Sim Guan Seng had been concerned the accounting of funds that were transacted between Xtron and AMAC.
Defense, however, sought to prove that Xtron was a separate and viable business, having organized big-name events such as the inaugural Asian Youth Games as well as corporate dinners of grassroots groups, banks, Singapore Management University and foundations such as Mainly I Love Kids. Additionally, Xtron bonds were ultimately fully redeemed by CHC and accounted for, with the risk borne by one person—Wahju Hanafi.
It was also established that CHC’s Board, Investment Committee, Executive Members and external auditors were all aware of and approved the use of CHC’s building fund for investment into Xtron bonds.
In the second tranche of the trial, which started last Monday, the prosecution called up another Xtron director Choong Kar Weng, who was questioned over inconsistent dating of minutes and involvement of CHC leaders in Xtron transactions, and the possibility that CHC fully controlled Xtron. Choong explained that decisions were often made jointly, as the Crossover Project was a partnership between Xtron and CHC, the former’s biggest client.
The Court also heard from seventh witness Wahju Hanafi last week that the ultimate objective of the Crossover Project was to raise Ho’s profile in the US so that China would welcome her. Ho’s having achieved three number one hits on the Billboard Dance Charts opened doors for her to performed at the Beijing Special Olympics 2008. She also received invitations to perform in 14 provinces across China.
Up to another six prosecution witnesses are expected to take the stand, with trustee Susan Ong appearing in court this morning, following by the continued examination of Hanafi.
Once the prosecution’s case ends, the defense case will begin, and the six will each take the stand.
中文报道 – CHC审讯：案件至今（2013年8月）