City Harvest Church trial resumes briefly for defence application

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee (right) arriving at court with lawyer Edwin Tong (left) and an unidentified lawyer on May 5, 2014. The City Harvest Church trial resumed briefly on May 21 as one of the defence lawyers asked the court to refer two
City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee (right) arriving at court with lawyer Edwin Tong (left) and an unidentified lawyer on May 5, 2014. The City Harvest Church trial resumed briefly on May 21 as one of the defence lawyers asked the court to refer two questions of law to the High Court. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 

SINGAPORE - The City Harvest Church trial resumed briefly on Wednesday as one of the defence lawyers asked the court to refer two questions of law to the High Court.

But the Presiding Judge of the State Court, See Kee Oon, rejected the application.

The two questions were related to one of the accused, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng. One question was whether, under the law, Tan could be considered to have had control of the church's funds because he was a church board member, when the board had been collectively given control of the funds.

The second question was whether Tan's status as a board member meant he had control of the funds in the way of his "business as an agent". The charges against him can stand only if the answers to both questions are yes.

The prosecution said that the application should be rejected because it could be made only if there had been a "judgement, sentence or order" by the court, which there had not. Chief Prosecutor Mavis Chionh said the application could be made at the end of the trial.

The trial against church founder Kong Hee and five others for misuse of church funds will continue on July 14 when the defence gives its case.