City Harvest Church case to be heard by five-judge panel on Aug 1

City Harvest Church (CHC) founder and senior pastor Kong Hee walks towards The State Courts on 21 April, 2017.
City Harvest Church (CHC) founder and senior pastor Kong Hee walks towards The State Courts on 21 April, 2017. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - The case involving the misuse of millions in City Harvest Church funds, which has landed church founder Kong Hee and others in jail, will be heard by a five-judge Court of Appeal on Aug 1.

The criminal reference for the case has been fixed for hearing before Judges of Appeal Andrew Phang and Judith Prakash, and Justices Belinda Ang, Quentin Loh and Chua Lee Ming, a Supreme Court spokesman said in response to queries from The Straits Times.

The decision of the court is final.

On April 7, Kong and five others had their jail terms slashed for criminal breach of trust (CBT) by the High Court.

They were cleared of the more serious form of CBT as agents and instead found guilty simply of CBT.

As a result, their initial jail terms of between 21 months and eight years were reduced to between seven months and 3½ years.

Prosecutors then applied for a rarely invoked criminal reference, to seek a definitive ruling on questions of law of public interest as well as to ask the apex court to reinstate the original convictions.

Kong, 52, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 44, former finance manager Serina Wee, 40, former finance committee member John Lam, 49, and former finance manager Sharon Tan, 41, started serving their jail terms on April 21.

Former fund manager Chew Eng Han, 56, was allowed to suspend his sentence.

He has applied for permission to file his own criminal reference covering 10 broad areas, including the meaning of misappropriation and whether the principle of honest belief applies to him.

Chew's application is fixed for hearing in early July.

 

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