Defense presents extensive paper trail in court showing that church’s lawyer and auditor were kept in the loop regarding CHC’s transactions with Xtron, including the rationale for its selection as artiste management firm for Sun Ho.
There were specific considerations in the engagement of Xtron as Sun Ho’s artiste management firm, instead of other secular management companies.
Firstly, it was to prevent Ho from “losing her personal rights to participate in church-related activities and humanitarian works”, the court heard today.
Senior pastor of City Harvest Church and husband to Ho, Kong Hee explained this afternoon that if Ho was managed by another music label, it would charge fees for appearances Ho makes at any evangelistic outreach campaign, charity or humanitarian event, and that would make it difficult for her to fulfill the mission objectives of the Crossover Project.
This was revealed in a document detailing the relationship between CHC, Xtron and its fund management firm AMAC Capital Partners. The contents of the document was later sent to the church’s auditor Foong Daw Ching.
Secondly, having Ho managed by Xtron—a company which shared “common vision and interests” with CHC—meant that Ho would not, in her capacity as a pop artist, be put in a situation where she had to “compromise her faith and moral conscience.”
The prosecution alleges that Xtron was just a shell company set up by the accused to illegally move the church’s building fund monies to the Crossover Project. It also alleges that the accused concealed pertinent information from the church’s auditors so that they would not uncover the “sham” nature of the bond transactions.
Throughout the afternoon, Kong’s defense lawyer Edwin Tong brought the court through an extensive paper trail detailing efforts by his client and other parties of the co-accused to ensure that the transactions entered into by the church were legal and above board.
Kong confirmed that the proposed transactions were only carried out after receiving “replies that were favorable” from the church’s lawyers and auditors.
Tong sought to show that Kong was mindful about lawyers checking documents. One document raised today was an agreement between JHM, Justin Herz Management company, and Ultimate Assets, Wahju Hanafi’s company. When co-defendant Chew Eng Han informed him the draft had been completed by lawyer Christina Ng of Rajah & Tann, Kong insisted that the document had to be vetted by the church’s lawyer at the time, Jimmy Yim of Drew & Napier, and auditor Foong Daw Ching.
As far as Kong was concerned, both Yim and Foong would have been made aware of the fact that Xtron, a company CHC invested heavily into, was losing money every year, and that CHC had bought further bonds from Xtron and Firna.
Subsequently, their corresponding advice had been taken into account in the preparation of the agenda for an upcoming extraordinary general meeting of the church, Kong testified.
Court resumes at 9:30am tomorrow.
中文报道 – CHC审讯：何耀珊经纪公司为何是思创而非其他公司