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Thursday September 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday September 19, 2013 MYT 6:42:00 AM
City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee (R) walks out for a lunch break with his pop-singer wife Ho Yeow Sun (L) during his trial. - file pic
The Ren Ci scandal sparked an internal panic within the City Harvest Church, with church leaders frantically trying to ensure that their own investments in church-linked companies were aboveboard, a court heard.
This happened in 2008, about a year after the church had invested S$13mil (RM33.5mil) in Xtron Productions, a music production firm that was managing City Harvest co-founder Ho Yeow Sun’s singing career at the time.
Several of the six church leaders accused of misusing church funds had in fact reached out to auditor Foong Daw Ching and prepared documents about the church’s transactions for him to review.
This was shown through telephone logs and text messages which were produced by the church leaders’ defence team yesterday.
The defence also strongly suggested that Foong had in fact read and discussed one particular document with the accused.
This set out the church’s relationship to Xtron and other companies, as well as the legal risks that the financial transactions could entail.
Foong, who had earlier insisted that he did not recall seeing this document, admitted: “I would have read it and there must have been some discussion.”
Defence lawyers have been trying to prove that Foong gave the accused detailed advice about various allegedly suspect transactions, and that church leaders had followed his advice.
City Harvest founder Kong Hee, who is Ho’s husband, and five of his deputies are on trial for alleged misuse of S$50mil (RM128mil) in church funds. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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