City Harvest Church leaders had done nothing wrong in being discreet about funding Ms Ho Yeow Sun's career and auditors had found nothing amiss as well, a court heard on Thursday.
In fact, it was "common" for churches to discreetly fund evangelism projects with a "secular face" in countries that disapprove of open gospel preaching, the defence for six church leaders said.
That said, all of the church's allegedly illegal financial transactions had been vetted by accounting firm Baker Tilly TFW, which raised no concerns. The firm signed off on the church's 2007 and 2008 financial statements when some of the transactions took place, the defence noted.
Baker Tilly would also have been extra "careful and conservative" in its audits at the time because it had been recently sued by another client for negligence, they added.