The lawyers involved in the bond subscription agreement knew that the Firna bond proceeds would go to repaying Wahju Hanafi for his shareholder’s loan. This was not “fictitious” as accused by the prosecution, said Serina Wee in court today.
While the Firna bond proceeds did not go into meeting the needs of Firna’s glass factory business, it gave Firna the means to repay its shareholder’s loan, which constituted part of its general working fund, said Serina Wee in court today.
The former church finance manager and Xtron accountant said this in response to the prosecution’s allegation that the Firna bonds had nothing to do with Firna’s glassware business. The deputy public prosecutor had produced an email in which Firna’s chief financial officer, known by the name of Agus, posed Wee several questions about the Firna’s bonds. The DPP said that Agus did not seem to know the details of the bond subscription agreement. Wee explained that Agus had a copy of the BSA, and that he was asking for information not in the BSA, for example, whether the 4.5 percent interest rate was floating or fixed. Wee told the court from Agus’ email, it was clear to her that he had read the BSA.
The prosecution reiterated its case that the Firna bonds were sham and its director, Wahju Hanafi, was just a conduit in the defendants’ plan to channel funds from the church to the Crossover Project. The deputy public prosecutor hypothesized that because Hanafi was only a conduit, the bonds was separated from the Firna’s business and thus its CFO had no clue what the bonds was about.
Wee disagreed. She explained that the proceeds of the Firna bonds provided for the return of the shareholder’s loan which was part of Firna’s general working capital. Also there were real obligations under the Firna bonds.
The DPP then suggested that Wee’s testimony regarding the return of the shareholder’s fund to Hanafi, followed by Hanafi using his own money to support the Crossover Project was “fiction”. Wee disagreed and reiterated that there were real obligations under the Firna bonds. She added that all the lawyers involved in the bonds subscription agreement knew that the bond proceeds would go to Hanafi as a return of the shareholder’s loan.
The prosecution put to Wee that she and the other co-defendants considered the Firna bond proceeds as their money to use as they saw fit; Wee explained that by labelling the money as “our money” in the emails, she was referring to the money which Wahju Hanafi had pledged toward the Crossover Project.
As the court had heard previously, Wee helped Hanafi to keep track of the funds he had pledged, how much to spend and when to draw down the funds. At the end of the day, she said, Hanafi had to give his approval for any transaction to take place.
Wee told the court that in City Harvest culture, a pledge was taken seriously. If Hanafi had pledged to finance the Crossover Project, she would hold him to the pledge unless he said otherwise.
The prosecution put to Wee that she and the co-accused did all the planning to ensure Firna could repay its bond interests; not only did they have to find a way to return the bond money, they also had to fulfil its the interest payments.
Wee disagreed, stating that she and her co-defendants were in fact helping Hanafi to fulfil his obligations, and that this proved that the Firna bond was not “sham” and that there were real obligations to be met.
Cross-examination continues tomorrow at 9.30am.
中文报道 – 城市丰收审讯：黄玉音：Firna债券收入用来归还股东贷款