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CHC trial: Reports of possible breach of law made in 2005, says lead investigator

From as early as 2005, financial institutions have reported to the authorities their suspicions of a possible breach of law by the six leaders of City Harvest Church.

SINGAPORE: From as early as 2005, financial institutions have reported to the authorities their suspicions of a possible breach of law by the six leaders of City Harvest Church.

This was two years after former church member Roland Poon issued a public apology after he questioned whether the church used its members' donations for singer Sun Ho's music career.

The court was told about the suspicions during the cross-examination of a new prosecution witness, Mr Kevin Han, who is the lead Commercial Affairs Department investigator of this case.

Lawyer Michael Khoo had asked Mr Han when the first information report, which is when police first receive information about a possible crime, was filed.

Mr Han said there were a few, and the earliest was filed in 2005.

Mr Khoo followed up by asking if the report had anything to do with the charges the six accused are currently facing.

However, this was was met with strong objections from prosecutor Mavis Chionh, who repeatedly asked about the relevance of the questions.

She said: "Your Honour, I think that the fact that I am objecting means that Counsel, my learned friend, is unfortunately and regrettably going off on a fishing expedition."

Ms Chionh explained that the law makes it clear that "no part of the information provided to the investigation officer is admissible" in the court as it is confidential and privileged.

But Mr Khoo argued that his question was relevant to what Mr Han had testified.

District Judge See Kee Oon will hear submissions on this from both parties on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the prosecution and the defence also traded barbs over the line of questioning that was put to Mr Han on the seizure of documents.

Church founder Kong Hee and five deputies are facing charges of misusing millions of the church's building fund by channeling the money into singer, Ms Ho's career via "sham bond transactions".

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