Defense lawyer produces evidence to show that there was no cover-up – auditors were very much alive to the issues and concerns surrounding the Crossover Project and the Xtron bonds.
In the course of the cross-examination of Kong Hee, the prosecution had charged that the senior pastor of CHC and his team had given only bits of information to the auditors and lawyers. This morning, Kong Hee’s defense lawyer, Edwin Tong revisited evidence and testimonies of auditors to show that, contrary to the prosecution’s allegations, the auditors had in fact been given a complete picture– about the Crossover Project and the Xtron bonds. This was reflected in Baker Tilly’s work papers and email exchanges between the audit team and the defendants.
One of the documents that the prosecution took issue with was a paper written by Tan Ye Peng to brief auditor Foong Daw Ching on the relationship between CHC, AMAC and Xtron. The prosecution had pointed out some missing information and alleged that the team was hiding it from the auditors.
Tong brought the court through a series of emails today showing the events leading up to Tan giving Foong the paper.
On Jul 9, 2008, a few days before the paper was sent to Foong, Serina Wee had sent both Foong Daw Ching and audit manager Foong Ai Fang an email with questions regarding impairment, consolidation and disclosure issues. Kong testified that he had realized that Xtron would not be able to redeem the bonds upon maturity because of the delay in album launch, and had instructed Wee to seek advice from the auditors.
On Jul 19, 2008, Kong wanted to seek advice from Foong Daw Ching following the Renci saga. This was what motivated the drafting of the paper by Tan which was sent to Foong. It was therefore to be expected that Foong was privy to the issue of Xtron bonds and the fact that Xtron was not able at the time to repay the bonds bought by CHC.
Earlier, the court also saw that the artist management agreement between Sun Ho and Xtron was among the documents referred to in the Baker Tilly audit working papers. A audit summary report also showed that the auditors knew the details of the cost incurred by Xtron for the management of Ho.
Emails and Foong’s testimony while he was on stand also showed that Foong was aware of the need for City Harvest Church to keep a distance from Ho and Xtron in order for the Crossover Project to be successful, so that countries not friendly to Christianity would be open to Ho.
Tong also revisited evidence that showed Foong’s knowledge about CHC refunding Wahju Hanafi his building fund to cover the Xtron’s Crossover expenses. He also produced an email to show that former CHC staff Wong Foong Ming had sought the advice of Foong regarding members who wanted to redirect their building fund to Xtron in support of the Crossover.
In reply to his defense lawyer, Kong said that he did not give the auditors a few dots and expected them to string the information together, as the prosecution had accused him of doing. He told the court he believed Foong had enough dots to string together to “form a line”. The auditors were privy to the circumstances of why Ho came under Xtron’s management and they knew about the Hanafi’s withdrawal of building fund, the sponsorship given to Xtron through refunds from building fund and the bonds Xtron issued to CHC in order to finance the Crossover Project.
The prosecution had also charged that Kong did not tell Foong that the investment was sham and thus Foong could not have known. Kong explained that he genuinely went to seek counsel and advice from Foong because he was a pastor and was not savvy with financial things. He said that it was not logical to expect professionals to only know that there was fraud and sham only when their clients told them so.
Court resumed at 2.30pm.
中文报道 – 城市丰收审讯：康：审计师所有的“点”足以连成直线