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City Harvest Trial: Kong Hee says he does not have total control over Xtron's decisions

Published on Aug 25, 2014 1:55 PM
 
City Harvest founder Kong Hee had asked for name cards stating that he was the "managing director" of Xtron Productions, the company that managed his wife Ho Yeow Sun's music career. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - City Harvest founder Kong Hee had asked for name cards stating that he was the "managing director" of Xtron Productions, the company that managed his wife Ho Yeow Sun's music career.

On Monday, the prosecution pointed to the request as further proof that Kong was in charge of the firm, contrary to his claims that he had only "some influence and control" and not total control over the firm's decisions. Kong was also named as Xtron's "invisible" manager in a document seized by the authorities from Xtron's offices.

The prosecution has been trying to show that Kong and several other church leaders were behind Xtron's decision to issue allegedly sham bonds in which City Harvest invested $13 million. The money eventually went to finance Ms Ho's planned American debut album.

Kong and five others face various charges for their part in allegedly misusing some $50 million of church funds to bankroll Ms Ho's music career, and then to cover up the deed.

Asked for his explanation about the name card request, Kong said on Monday he was not, and did not want to be, the firm's managing director. He said he had wanted the name cards only to help with budget negotiations for his wife's US album.

"I was meeting people in the industry so I wanted a senior title that carried with it a certain authority," he said. But he stressed that he handled only the budget negotiations.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong also showed e-mail where Kong had discussed the financing of the album with fellow defendant and City Harvest deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng.

Mr Ong said to Kong: "I put it to you that the Xtron directors played no role in the bonds, and you were the ones who made the final decisions for the US project."

Kong disagreed, maintaining that while he may have proposed ideas and budgets, it was up to the Xtron directors to make the decisions.

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