Prosecution files appeal for City Harvest trial

City Harvest Church leaders: Founder Kong Hee (top centre), former finance manager Serina Wee (top left), Sharon Tan (top right), Tan Ye Peng (bottom left), John Lam (bottom centre), and Chew Eng Han (bottom right).
City Harvest Church leaders: Founder Kong Hee (top centre), former finance manager Serina Wee (top left), Sharon Tan (top right), Tan Ye Peng (bottom left), John Lam (bottom centre), and Chew Eng Han (bottom right).PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Public Prosecutor has filed its appeal in the City Harvest case, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said in a statement on Monday (Jan 18).

The prosecution has called the sentences imposed on the six accused - which includes City Harvest Church founding pastor Kong Hee - "manifestly inadequate", and wants harsher punishment to deter such crimes.

All parties in December filed notices of appeal, which is an indication to the court that they intend to appeal.

"The prosecution will be proceeding with the appeal against the sentences imposed on the six accused persons, and we have accordingly filed our Petition of Appeal on 15 Jan 2016," said an AGC spokesman on Monday.

The other six accused previously indicated to The Straits Times that they would be filing the appeal before the deadline at the end of Monday.

On Oct 20, the six - including church founder and senior pastor Kong Hee, 51 - were found guilty of using the funds to further the music career of Kong's wife, pastor-singer Ho Yeow Sun.

They had done this by funnelling $24 million into sham bonds to bankroll Ms Ho's career. They then covered their tracks with a further $26 million.

All six drew jail terms of between 21 months and eight years. Kong got the heaviest sentence as the mastermind of Singapore's largest charity financial scandal.

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