City Harvest trial: 7 quotable quotes from Friday's hearing

Kong Hee and his lawyer Edwin Tong arriving at the State Courts on Nov 20.
Kong Hee and his lawyer Edwin Tong arriving at the State Courts on Nov 20. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Final arguments for the City Harvest Church (CHC) case were made by both the defence and prosecution in court on Friday (Nov 20).

The defence pleaded for leniency on behalf of the six church leaders, including founder Kong Hee, while the prosecution maintained that they had abused the trust placed in them

Some church followers started queuing from the wee hours of the morning to attend the session.

Here are some quotes that stood out:

"All of them love the church and meant no harm to the church whatsoever. Every cent that was drawn out went to the church. None of the accused benefited from the proceeds in a wrongful manner."

- Mr Edwin Tong, lawyer for church founder Kong Hee


Kong Hee with his lawyer Edwin Tong outside the State Courts on Nov 20. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

"How much weight can the good character of a shepherd be given if he is also a wolf at the same time?"

-Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Christopher Ong

"In their zeal, they've crossed certain boundaries. But for the sake of their young children, we plead for them to be spared jail terms."

- Letter from 173 church executive members pleading leniency for the accused

"His failure is that he should have questioned, and he didn't because he trusted his spiritual leaders."

- Mr Kenneth Tan, lawyer for ex-CHC finance committee member John Lam

"She's a follower, although she was on the board for a time. She was not a priest commanding respect in community and wider society. Before she was charged, it is safe to say that society did not even know who she was."

- Mr Andre Maniam, lawyer for ex-finance manager Serina Wee


Serina Wee arriving at the State Courts on Nov 20. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

"Kong Hee claims to be remorseful and sorry for the criticism the church faces. He has not actually said sorry for his part in the offences."

- DPP Christopher Ong on Kong Hee

"In a way, the secular system might not really understand the spiritual reasons for this project. It may be quite controversial and people may think (Kong's wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun) is trying to gain fame and achieve stardom but that's definitely not the case."

- Mr Tan, who has been with the church for a decade, started queueing outside the State Courts at 3am