Under cross-examination by co-defendant Chew Eng Han today, Serina Wee agreed that none of the accused parties made any personal gains for carrying out their duties in the Crossover Project.
Cross-examination of former Xtron accountant and City Harvest Church finance manager, Serina Wee began today with questions from the other defense counsel.
Sharon Tan’s lawyer, Paul Seah, asked Wee about CHC’s practice of taking minutes. Wee told the court that it was her practice that the finalized meeting minutes only reflected key points of the meeting and not everything that was discussed. She added that this habit was inherited from her predecessor, the church’s former human resource and administration manager Wong Foong Ming.
Seah took Wee through part of Tan Ye Peng’s testimony, in which the deputy senior pastor told the court what was captured in the board minutes was the thing that eventually happened, and not what was discussed in the meeting. Wee confirmed today that there were times when this was done: after the meetings, there were further discussions and the board minutes would be updated accordingly. However, the court also saw that the board minutes would be verified by the board members who signed off on them. Wee also agreed with Seah that this method of minute-taking had been a long-standing practice for the church.
The next person to cross-examine Wee was former fund manager Chew Eng Han, who represents himself in this trial. Among other things, Chew brought Wee to an email in which both of them discussed the Xtron bond maturity period. Wee had told the court during her evidence-in-chief that, based on the worst case scenario that she, Tan and Chew had worked on, it would take 10 years for Xtron to repay the bonds. In the email, Chew had suggested a 1.5 year bond period and Wee was “frustrated” that he did not understand her concern.
This morning, Chew said that he and Wee seemed to be on “different frequencies” on this issue: he had failed to register that 200,000 units of the album sold would be the worst case scenario and had assumed that the album sales proceeds could cover a major part of the bond redemption.
Chew showed the court that initially the album was meant to be launched in April 2007, six months after the bonds were entered into, and proceeds for the album were expected to come in by the end of 2007. It was thus not unreasonable for Chew to assume that Xtron would be able to repay the bonds within 1.5 years.
Chew also noted that while the prosecution has accused the defendants of not having any intention to repay the Xtron bonds, Wee appeared to have been prudent in keeping track of the Crossover budget. He brought the court to an email in which Wee told Tan that any additional expenses not budgeted would require additional funds; she had also reminded him to let her know before committing to any of such expenditure. Wee agreed that there had always been the intention to repay the bonds.
Addressing the charges of falsification of accounts to disguise the round-tripping of funds, Wee also agreed with Chew that the accounting entries were rightly recorded; there was no other way to record the advance rental license agreement (ARLA) and the Special Opportunity Fund (SOF) transactions, both of which the prosecution calls sham.
There was never any reward promised to the accused parties for carrying out the project; the only gain was the satisfaction of fulfilling the vision of the church, Chew said. Wee agreed.
Chew also said it was a series of unexpected events that caused the Crossover team to have to keep looking for solutions, from deriving the ABSA to switching the management of Sun Ho to Ultimate Assets, the drawing up of the Xtron-Firna bonds, and later, the rescinding of the ARLA.
Again, Wee agreed.
Under cross-examination by Tan Ye Peng’s lawyer, senior counsel N Sreenivasan, Wee clarified that auditor Foong Daw Ching had advised the team that there was no need to minute down everything during the church’s executive and annual general meetings because the church did not control Xtron; hence there was no need to cause any misunderstanding by minuting down everything that was discussed.
SC Kenneth Tan (for John Lam) will conduct cross-examination of Serina Wee on Monday, May 4, 2015.
中文报道 – 城市丰收审讯：被告同意执行跨界计划无任何报酬