City Harvest trial: Bonds were legitimate investments, said trustee

A trustee of the City Harvest Church who works in financial services said she had no problems with documents the church had asked her to sign.

These documents were related to financial transactions at the heart of an ongoing criminal trial against City Harvest founder Kong Hee and five of his deputies.

Ms Susan Ong works with an insurance company and is married to Mr Derek Dunn, a former pastor with the Singapore church before the couple moved to the United States in 2011.

One of three City Harvest trustees who act as custodians for the church's assets, Ms Ong said that she was aware that the church's investments in bonds were meant to fund Ms Ho's career as a way to evangelise, but added that the bonds themselves were "legitimate" investments.

The State has sought to show that the six accused knew that at least some of the bonds would not profitable and still chose to invest in them. This showed that the bonds were shams, according to the prosecution.

The prosecution also revealed an email sent from Serina Wee to Chew Eng Han, two of the accused, in which Wee said "Susan mentioned to me that most of the time (the trustees) are signing (documents) blindly and trust us".

When asked about this, Ms Ong said: "I don't recall mentioning that", and suggested that Wee herself be asked about the matter.

The six were charged last year with misusing about $50 million of church funds to finance the singing career of Kong's wife Ho Yeow Sun and to cover-up the misuse of funds.

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