Prosecution puts forth evidence which seemed to suggest building fund money was channeled to Crossover Project; John Lam explains it was a mistake, and that Wahju Hanafi’s intention had always been to fund the Project.
Wahju Hanafi donated money to the church’s building fund with the original intention to fund the Crossover project. Funds were refunded from the building fund and used to sponsor the Crossover project.
The City Harvest trial resumed this morning, with the prosecution resuming its cross-examination of John Lam.
DPP Mavis Chionh questioned Lam on the minutes of a CHC board meeting held on May 5, 2002, which reflected that the board had resolved that direct costs relating to Sun Ho’s music album, or the Crossover Project, did not belong to CHC, but to City Harvest Pte Ltd, which later became Attributes Pte Ltd. The cost was to be borne by Hanafi donations into APL.
The DPP showed evidence that it was only in March 2003 that the refund actually took place, but the amended meeting minutes of May 2002 already reflected this. Lam explained that Hanafi had initially donated to CHC’s building fund, but subsequently expressed that his original intention was to donate to the Crossover. The DPP then questioned Lam on why the minutes had been backdated to reflect the refund.
The DPP showed the court a thank you letter Lam had sent to Hanafi and his wife for their generous contribution of $1.27 million to APL for the music project. This was Hanafi’s refunded contribution to the building fund. The prosecution brought up an announcement in 2003 made by Kong Hee, the church’s senior pastor, to the executive members that no money from the church was used to promote the Sun With Love album, and that the album was paid for by the donation from the Hanafis.
The prosecution showed the court an email in which Lam had said he did not want to disclose the earlier meeting minutes had been amended. Responding to that, Lam explained that he was concerned that if the refund from the building fund to APL was reflected in the church’s annual report, that might invite unwarranted attention and criticism from the public following the Roland Poon incident.
Lam conceded that it should have been a resolution instead of an amendment. He added that the auditor from Teo Foong Wong LLP in 2002-2003, Foong Daw Ching had also advised that it was not necessary to disclose the refund as it was an accounting mistake. Hence, Lam saw no need to make that known to the executive members.
Court resumed at 2.15pm.
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