AGC not taking action against CHC pastor over tweets

It says City Harvest pastor warned over Twitter posts has complied with its letter

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) will not be taking action against the City Harvest Church pastor who was warned last week that two of his posts on Twitter scandalised the judiciary.

"We are satisfied that there has been substantive compliance with the requirements of our warning letter, and will not be taking any further action against Mr Tan Kim Hock," said an AGC spokesman responding to queries from The Straits Times yesterday.

The AGC had, on June 3, ordered Mr Tan to remove two tweets from his account and publish an apology via the social media platform within seven days.

The AGC said then that the pastor's tweets could amount to contempt of court, and action might be taken against him.

The megachurch could not be reached for comment yesterday, but it is understood that both tweets have since been deleted.

Mr Tan had on May 5 tweeted, with a link to an ST news report online, that he was "amazed at the efficiency of ST. They knew it while the court is still going on or do they know earlier".

The tweet was posted on the day Presiding Judge of the State Courts See Kee Oon ruled that pastor Kong Hee and five other leaders have to take the stand to fight allegations against them, disagreeing with their lawyers' attempt to have the case thrown out.

The six are accused of various counts of criminal breach of trust and falsifying accounts by misappropriating $24 million in sham bond investments, and another $26.6 million to cover it up. The trial will resume on July 14 with the defence taking its turn.

Mr Tan, a founding member of City Harvest Church, tweeted again the next day, referencing a Bible verse: "I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt."

The AGC said the first tweet implied the courts gave ST "preferential and privileged access to information" before the decision was delivered, and therefore, implied that the "State Courts is biased and/or unfair, given that such treatment was not equally accorded to everyone else".

The May 6 tweet, meanwhile, suggested that "the 'courts of law' in Singapore are 'corrupt', and in particular, that the court hearing the City Harvest trial is corrupt".

The AGC yesterday reminded members of the public not to publish any comments that "undermine the confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore".

It added that it will take appropriate action against anyone committing contempt against the Singapore courts.