Trustees appointed AMAC to make all investment decisions in accordance with the Fund Management Agreement.
The prosecution’s 11th witness, Tan Yew Meng took the stand this morning. Tan is an academic staff of a local polytechnic and a holder of two Masters degrees in Civil Engineering and Construction Law. He joined City Harvest Church in 1994 and was appointed as one of the trustees of the church in 1996.
Tan explained his role to the court as being one who holds in trust the immovable assets of the church. He added that his role as a trustee did not involve negotiations and deliberations leading up to the purchasing of properties.
The court heard that the trustees had approved the bond subscription and been given the power of attorney to AMAC to subscribe to bonds issued by Xtron, on behalf of CHC. Tan said that as a trustee, he was aware that Chew Eng Han, one of the six, was associated with AMAC and relied on Chew’s good track record when it came to investments. The trustees were kept updated about AMAC’s investment transactions for CHC via annual general meetings held by the church for its executive members.
DPP Tan Kiat Pheng took Tan through documents such as the Xtron bond subscription agreement, the power of attorney document signed by the trustees giving AMAC full control and discretion over investment decisions for the church, as well as the deed of subordination signed by the trustees to Standard Chartered Bank.
DPP Tan asked Tan if he or the executive members knew anything about the underlying transactions pertaining to these documents. Tan replied that the documents were explained during annual general meetings or extraordinary general meetings. He added that if he had any question, he could ask and he would be given answers that met his satisfaction.
During the course of the morning session, DPP Tan questioned the witness about a meeting that took place involving the current vice president of CHC’s management board, Bobby Chaw, John Lam and fellow trustee Jeffrey Cheong. This meeting was held after the case broke out and DPP Tan asked Tan why he went for the meeting despite being told not to discuss the case with anyone.
Tan clarified in his answer to senior counsel Kenneth Tan that it was an informal meeting, a coffee session held before the church service, and it lasted about 30 to 40 minutes. In this meeting, Chaw’s intention was to meet the trustees to brief them on the current investments of the church. He invited Lam to the meeting as Lam would have been able to refresh their memories on the past investments of the church. Tan confirmed that no documents were produced or discussed at length and that Lam had said that they could approach the church office to request to look at any documents they had signed. Lam had also told the trustees to tell the truth and not lie.
Defense counsel for Kong Hee, Jason Chan pointed out that the church constitution was revised to reflect that it was no longer the trustees’ role to control dealings with investments of the church, therefore it was not unusual that Tan and the other trustees were not consulted on the negotiations nor informed about subsequent investment decisions.
Senior counsel for Chew Eng Han, Michael Khoo established that the trustees had signed various documents drafted by reputable lawyers. Going through the minutes of the EOGM held on Aug 10, 2008, Khoo asked Tan if he, as a longstanding church member and the longest-serving trustee, saw anything wrong in using the building fund for investment purposes other than the building. Tan replied that he saw no problem at all.
Court resumed at 2.30pm.
中文报道 – CHC审讯：被告人请信托人说实话