City Harvest Church: Trial judge meets with defence lawyers of leaders accused of fraud

Senior District Judge See Kee Oon, who will be presiding over the trial of the six City Harvest Church leaders accused of embezzling more than $50 million of church funds, met with their defence lawyers on Tuesday.

Although there have been several pre-trial conferences leading up to the trial, set to begin on May 15, this was the first involving the defence lawyers and the trial judge.

Besides founding pastor Kong Hee, the other five church leaders are represented by senior counsel. Kong has engaged lawyer Edwin Tong.

On Tuesday, the parties sorted out administrative and logistic matters.

And because several of the six leaders have at least two lawyers with them, seating arrangements in court also needed to be worked out, in light of space constraints.

Among the six accused persons, only Chew Eng Han, came to court. He wanted to apply for the court's permission to go overseas for a few weeks for a business trip.

The 52-year old said he would be back in time for the trial.

The six leaders are alleged to have funnelled $24 million into sham bond investments to further the career of Ms Ho Yeow Sun, Kong's pop singer wife. They are also said to have misappropriated another $26.6 million to cover up the first sum.