In the conclusion of his examination-in-chief, Wahju Hanafi maintains that he would have honored the verbal guarantee he gave the church to underwrite the Crossover Project.
The personal guarantees from Wahju Hanafi and that of Kong Hee, Tan Ye Peng, Koh Siow Ngea and Chew Eng Han were called into question this afternoon as the prosecution team concluded its examination-in-chief of witness Wahju Hanafi.
Deputy public prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng questioned the soundness of Hanafi’s personal guarantee to Xtron, dated 2007 for any losses arising from the Crossover Project. He asked Hanafi why he acted as guarantor even though he was having financial difficulties himself in 2007, the same year Hanafi said the personal guarantee was signed.
Hanafi explained that the financial difficulties pertained to his cashflow problems at the material time. He saw his net wealth as a combination of his assets, and his cashflow. He told the court that the guarantee he had given to CHC was backed by his personal net worth, which would have been more than sufficient to fulfill his liability. Firna alone, he said, was worth about US$46 million in 2007, if he had had to sell it to keep his promise.
When DPP Tan presented him with a hypothetical scenario in which he would have had to fulfill his personal guarantee, even at the cost of selling one of his businesses such as Firna, Hanafi replied, “I’m a man. If I have signed my signature on it…and my wife…if we both have signed for it and we have to come forth with it, well, why not? Because… when I started at 18 years old, I have nothing. I can’t even pay for my study. With this, I’m still left with $10, $20 million and I think I’m happy with that money.”
The dates of the guarantees Hanafi signed were the subject of contention during the final part of the EIC, as heated exchanges took place between prosecutor and witness—one being the personal guarantee by Hanafi underwriting losses incurred by Xtron from the Crossover Project, and the second being the guarantee from Kong, Tan, Chew and Choong Kar Weng (Hanafi’s fellow Xtron director at one time) backing Hanafi up.
Despite Hanafi insisting that he had not signed any personal guarantee documents in 2010, and if any, they were signed in 2007, the prosecution took the court through the minutes of a City Harvest Church extraordinary general meeting in Aug 2010 which seemed to suggest that at least one was signed in March 2010.
The prosecution ended examination-in-chief with a series of Blackberry messages between the accused and Hanafi, and email exchanges that addressed loans, repayment schedules as well as the personal guarantees. Questions were raised as to why payments were sometimes not returned directly to lenders, in a series of many transactions. DPP Tan tried to show that the accused persons Chew and Serina Wee were in control of the funds, and not Hanafi.
The examination-in-chief of Hanafi ended after four days. Cross-examination by the defense counsel begins tomorrow at 9.30 am.