Finance manager says discussion and deliberation of Firna bonds were not minuted because discretion had been given to AMAC to invest.
This morning proceedings saw the prosecution trying to prove that the Xtron and Firna bonds were merely means to channel City Harvest Church’s building funds to fund the Crossover Project—not genuine investments.
Sharon Tan maintained that the building fund had been invested into the companies and the individual directors of the companies then used the proceeds for the use of the Crossover.
The deputy public prosecutor pointed out that there are no board meeting minutes that show CHC board members discussing, deliberating and approving Firna bonds. Tan told the court she remembered clearly that the board had discussed the Firna bonds but there was no need for the discussion to be minuted down because the fund manager, AMAC Capital Partners has been given the discretion to make investments.
The DPP then pointed out that John Lam had testified on stand that the investment committee depended on Chew Eng Han’s verbal presentation and the committee was not showed any reports. The prosecutor charged that it was “incredulous” that the CHC board would approve investing $24.5m into a company without seeing any reports on the company. Tan replied to the best of her knowledge, this was how the board worked, they put their trust in Chew and his investment plans; moreover, Firna was Wahju Hanafi’s company, so the board members had no issues with the investment.
Could AMAC invest into Firna without the board approval, asked the DPP. Tan replied that according to the agreement between CHC and AMAC, this was possible, but Chew was accountable to the board. She reiterated that both the Xtron and Firna bonds were entered into with the board’s guidance.
The DPP also took issue with the fact that Serina Wee was the one determining when the draw downs of the Xtron and Firna bonds took place and the use of each draw down. She referred to the evidence of the Xtron and Firna directors on the stand and pointed out that they did not know the details of the draw down. Xtron director Chong Kar Weng had testified that once he approved the overall budget, he would leave the rest to Wee. Co-director Koh Siow Ngea also said that the decision on when to draw down was left to the church. The DPP further produced emails showing Wee giving instructions to Hanafi on what to do with the draw downs of the Firna bonds.
Tan replied that the directors needed Wee to give them information on how should the draw downs be used—they couldn’t take action without information. She also said that her understanding was that the budget of the Crossover and each draw down had to be approved by the directors of Xtron and Firna. She likened it to herself and her staff preparing cheques for various payments of the church and getting the different head of departments to sign them. If the head refuses to sign, “I can’t force him to,” she said.
Court resumed at 2.15pm.
中文报道 – 城市丰收审讯：陈绍云坚持董事已批准债券