Apex court to hear City Harvest case on Aug 1

The case involving the misuse of millions in City Harvest Church funds, which has landed 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.

Last month, 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 31/2 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. Chew's application is fixed for hearing in early July.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2017, with the headline 'Apex court to hear City Harvest case on Aug 1'. Print Edition | Subscribe