Witness Foong Ai Fang confirms it was not an issue for Xtron bond monies to be used to fund the Crossover Project; defense questions documents possibly missing from witness’s “blue files” and requests for 2003 Special Audit working papers but told they have been destroyed.
This morning in court, cross-examination of witness Foong Ai Fang continued.
Senior counsel N. Sreenivasan, defense lawyer for Tan Ye Peng, questioned Foong Ai Fang on her previous evidence that, if a source entry was wrongly classified, then the management account would be wrong. During examination-in-chief on Wednesday, deputy public prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng had asked the witness how a wrong classification of a source entry regarding the redemption of the bonds would affect the audit. Foong had replied that the management account may then be wrong.
With regard to that point, Sreenivasan brought the witness through a process of recording transactions in an audit. Foong agreed with him the book entries would be correct if, in place of cash payment, the advance payment was contra’d against a redemption in bonds, and this advance payment would appear in the books as an asset. She also agreed with the lawyer that it did not matter what the intention of a source entry was because book entries do not depend on intention but on the transaction.
Foong also confirmed that the CHC audit team knew about the Xtron bond investment and its purpose, which was to fund Sun Ho’s music albums, but they had not raised any questions with regards to whether the building fund could be used to buy bonds into Xtron, which would then use the funds for Ho’s album production and promotion.
The only question the auditors had was if the church could use its building fund for investment. Foong told the court this was because it was “not necessary from the church point of view”.
There was a moment of tension in court when defense counsel Edwin Tong asked the witness if she could check her computer and find out if emails earlier than September 2007 still existed. Foong had put together two blue files—labelled “CHC” and “Xtron”— after Commercial Affair Department officers raided Baker Tilly’s office in 2010. These files were produced in court this morning.
The files contained emails, CHC and Xtron’s financial statements and newspaper reports relating to the case. The earliest email filed was dated Sep. 19, 2007. Tong asked the witness why she chose to print emails starting from that date. The witness said she could not remember.
Tong also questioned Foong about her tabling of the sequence of events relating to the CHC and Xtron audits, starting from 2003. Foong testified that she had prepared these tables based on the contents of two blue files, but emails dated Jun. 3, 2004 listed in the tables were not found in the blue files. Tong put it to Foong that she had referred to emails in her computer from at least Jun. 3, 2004 until September 2007 but had not printed them out.
Tong told the court that he was looking for emails that seem to support the defense case but had not been produced by the prosecution. He cited the case of the Muhammed bin Kadar vs Public Prosecutor (2011) and reminded the court of the prosecution’s obligation regarding documents that may be useful to the defense.
Tong also asked the witness for documents—including the audit working papers—used for the special audit done in 2003 in response to Roland Poon’s allegation of the use of church funds for Sun Ho’s career. The court made a request for Foong to find out during the lunch break if she had been involved in the special audit. The prosecution offered to check with Baker Tilly’s lawyers on this information.
When court resumed after lunch, the prosecution informed the court that the Baker Tilly documents pertaining to the special audit had been destroyed.