Prosecutors strengthened their case about the intimate ties between City Harvest Church and music firm Xtron Productions on Tuesday by producing emails that expressedly stated Xtron was under the church's control.
In a series of emails between Xtron accountant Serina Wee and two church leaders Chew Eng Han and Tan Ye Peng, all of whom are accused of the misuse of church funds, Chew said: "Xtron is under our control."
Tan then replied: "Are we allowed to say that Xtron is under CHC (City Harvest Church) control?" to which Chew said: "Not in such bold terms, but we should let our members have the assurance that Xtron's gains are in line with CHC's vision."
The emails were produced in relation to a property Xtron purchased with financial help from the church. The State also noted that Wee did not object in the emails to the statement that Xtron was under the church's control.
Questioned on the witness stand, Xtron director Choong Kar Weng said of the emails: "I don't regard the statement (about CHC controlling Xtron) to be correct." Lawyers for the accused also strenuously objected to Mr Choong being asked about the emails since he was not copied in them.
Xtron is one of two companies accused of helping City Harvest to illegally misuse church funds to bankroll the music career of pastor-singer Ho Yeow Sun, who is also wife of the megachurch's founder Kong Hee.
Kong and five of his deputies including Wee, Chew and Tan were charged last year with conspiring to cheat the church of millions of dollars. They allegedly misused $24 million of church funds to bankroll Ho's music career, and then purportedly took another $26 million to cover up the first amount.