City Harvest trial: 'Full-scale investigation' by auditor, so funds use must have been proper, says defence

It was a reversal of roles in court on Thursday as defence lawyer Kannan Ramesh sought to show that an auditor had been "significantly troubled" by City Harvest Church's investment in bonds.

The prosecution believes that the church invested in sham bonds issued by music production firm Xtron Productions, as a way to funnel church money to finance the firm's artiste Ho Yeow Sun's career. Ms Ho is church founder Kong Hee's wife.

Referring to e-mails in which auditor Tiang Yii from the firm Baker Tilly TFW had asked for various documents to make sure the investments were proper use of church funds, Mr Kannan put it to her that she must have been satisfied by her "full-scale investigation" since she eventually signed off on her Xtron audit, which included the period when the bonds were issued.

But Ms Tiang repeatedly disagreed with his portrayal of the events, saying that the questions she asked were "standard" procedure, and that she had only been satisfied that the transactions did not affect her Xtron audit. She was not the auditor in charge of City Harvest for the period when the bonds would have shown up in its books.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.