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Saturday August 31, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday August 31, 2013 MYT 12:57:02 PM
A trustee of the City Harvest Church responsible for managing its assets said that he had not seen several documents related to the church’s investments.
This, however, was not unusual as the trustees had given an investment firm the power to negotiate and sign agreements on their behalf, he said.
The documents were related to financial transactions which are at the heart of the ongoing criminal trial against church founder Kong Hee and five of his deputies.
The six were charged last year with conspiring to cheat the megachurch of about S$50mil (RM130mil) in total. S$24mil (RM62mil) was allegedly misused to finance Kong’s wife Ho Yeow Sun’s music career, and another S$26mil (RM67mil) purportedly taken to cover this up.
Jeffrey Cheong (pic), a founding member of the church who is now one of its three trustees, said he would have been briefed on other documents about investments at the time he signed them, but he could not recall what he had been told.
Among the documents shown in court yesterday which he had not seen was an letter from John Lam Leng Hung, one of the accused, to the owners of glassware manufacturer Firna. The church had agreed to invest up to S$24.5mil (RM64mil) in Firna bonds, although only S$11mil (RM28mil) was given to the firm.
Part of the contract allowed the church to convert the bonds to shares in the company. However, if this was ever done, City Harvest would sell the shares back to the company at just US$1 (RM3.3), Lam promised in the letter. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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