CHC leaders weaved web of lies: DPP
THE six City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders deceived church members, auditors and lawyers, and weaved a web of deceit to subvert the church's internal governance bodies.
That was what
Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong
told the court
He was responding
to the arguments against conviction put forth by the six CHC leaders
at the centre of a multi-million-dollar financial scandal.
In October last year, the six were convicted of misappropriating millions in church funds to fuel the pop music career of CHC senior pastor Kong Hee's wife, Ho Yeow Sun, in a church mission known as the Crossover Project.
The court found that they had invested $24 million from CHC's building fund in bogus bonds, but this money was in fact used to fund the Crossover Project.
Later, another $26 million was used
to cover up the
The six, including Kong, are appealing against their convictions and sentences. The others are Tan Ye Peng, Chew Eng Han,
Serina Wee, John Lam and Sharon Tan.
The prosecution is also appealing for
DPP Ong said the CHC leaders knew the bond instruments were "excuses to expend building fund money on Sun Ho's music career".
The CHC leaders had said there was a need for secrecy in carrying out the Crossover Project to avoid public scrutiny.
DPP Ong said it was "strange" that the only thing that needed to be kept "secret" was the fact that Ms Ho was funded by the church's building fund.
He added that it was public knowledge that she was the "famous pastor Kong Hee's wife" and Kong would preach at the end of her concerts.
"Where is the secrecy in this?" asked DPP Ong.