City Harvest trial: Prosecution method of questioning witness 'piecemeal'

Defence counsel Edwin Tong on Jan 22, 2014, alluded that the prosecution's method of questioning Baker Tilly managing partner Sim Guan Seng (pictured) amounted to a "piecemeal" approach. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 
Defence counsel Edwin Tong on Jan 22, 2014, alluded that the prosecution's method of questioning Baker Tilly managing partner Sim Guan Seng (pictured) amounted to a "piecemeal" approach. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 

Defence counsel Edwin Tong on Wednesday alluded that the prosecution's method of questioning Baker Tilly managing partner Sim Guan Seng amounted to a "piecemeal" approach.

He was referring to the prosecution's citing of documents and e-mails that Mr Sim said he was not privy to when he was presiding over the audits of the church in financial years 2008 and 2009, and music production firm Xtron in 2008.

"The context would be the e-mail, but not of prevailing e-mails around the time or the circumstances in which it was said," said Mr Tong, who represents City Harvest Church founder and senior pastor Kong Hee. He added: "As an auditor, you do not look at things in a vacuum, but in a context." Mr Sim agreed.

Referencing an e-mail exchange between Kong and deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng about the projected cash flow for Xtron, Mr Sim had then testified that he found it puzzling why the church board's president and vice-president were commenting on this.

Mr Tong asked: "If I told you that Baker Tilly was fully aware of Kong Hee's role in doing this, would you be surprised?" Mr Sim said he would.

The lawyer then produced Baker Tilly work papers dated December 2006 which Mr Sim had not seen, in which it stated that Kong volunteered to liaise with the American producers for the launch of his wife Ho Yeow Sun's secular English album there.

Mr Tong asked: "This would demystify some of the doubts you had, right?" Mr Sim agreed.