I did not advise accused to leave out information, says CHC auditor
- POSTED: 13 Sep 2013 16:28
- UPDATED: 13 Sep 2013 23:41
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The auditor of City Harvest Church testified on Friday that he did not advise the six leaders, who are now on trial, to withhold information from church members.
SINGAPORE: The auditor of City Harvest Church (CHC) testified on Friday that he did not advise the six leaders, who are now on trial, to withhold information from church members.
Mr Foong Daw Ching of accounting firm Baker Tilly said he had never asked the accused not to minute down everything in an extraordinary general meeting on August 10, 2008, where Xtron Productions (XPL) was discussed.
Xtron was the management company of singer Sun Ho, who is also church founder Kong Hee's wife.
At that time, the church had invested heavily in Xtron through bond subscriptions.
On Friday, prosecutor Mavis Chionh brought up email chains among four of the accused, to show that they had consulted Mr Foong.
The four of the accused are -- Kong, Serina Wee, Tan Ye Peng and Chew Eng Han.
In an email dated August 1, 2008, from Wee to the three others (Kong, Tan and Chew), she said Mr Foong approved of their "new plans" and advised them to "just minute down the necessary portions so as not to show too close a relationship or control over XPL (Xtron)".
Wee added in the email that the four of them would have to "not paint the picture that CHC (the church) has full control but only some control over XPL".
Mr Foong denied providing this advice.
The prosecution argued that Xtron was set up as a financial vehicle for the accused to channel money into Ms Ho's music career.
Later in the day, the court heard that Kong had sent an email to Wee, Tan and Chew on July 29, 2008, asking them to come up with a solution for the projected shortfall in glassware firm Firna.
Firna is owned by Indonesian businessman Wahju Hanafi, who was one of the main supporters of Ms Ho's music career.
Kong said in his email that Firna would be short of S$10.4 million if only a third of the estimated profit came through from Ms Ho's expected album.
He also listed the timeline of when various transactions had to be completed, including when Xtron was to sell bonds to the church's appointed investment firm AMAC and when Xtron was to redeem the S$13 million bonds.
The prosecution's case is that Kong came up with the timeline of events for the others to follow, so as to facilitate the moving of monies.
Multiple emails between the accused were also raised in court, where Mr Foong was indicated as having given them advice on bond transactions and Xtron's audit report.
However, Mr Foong denied doing so.
Kong, Wee, Tan, Chew, John Lam and Sharon Tan are on trial for allegedly misusing S$24 million of the church's building fund to boost Ms Ho's music career.