City Harvest case: Some will start serving sentences by April 21

CHC deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng arriving at the High Court on April 7, 2017.
CHC deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng arriving at the High Court on April 7, 2017. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Some of the six City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders facing jail for their roles in Singapore's largest case of misuse of charity funds will start serving their sentences by April 21, said a notice posted on the church's website.

No names were mentioned.

Last Friday, church founder Kong Hee and five others were sentenced to jail terms of between seven months and 3½ years for investing millions in sham bonds to fund the pop music career of his wife in a church mission and then covering up their tracks.

Five - Kong, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, former fund manager Chew Eng Han, former finance committee member John Lam and former finance manager Serina Wee - had sought a two-week deferment of their sentences. Former finance manager Sharon Tan had asked for two months' deferment.

 

Five - Kong, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, former fund manager Chew Eng Han, former finance committee member John Lam and former finance manager Serina Wee - had sought a two-week deferment of their sentences. Former finance manager Sharon Tan had asked for two months' deferment.

Their requests were granted.

On Monday, the prosecution filed a criminal reference to ask the Court of Appeal to rule on questions of law of public interest.

Yesterday, Chew told The Straits Times that he has informed the High Court that he intends to apply for permission to file his own criminal reference.

"I've also requested a stay in sentence and asked for advice on how to extend bail pending the outcome of the criminal reference. I've not got any reply yet."

Kong's lawyer, Senior Counsel Edwin Tong, said his client has not yet decided whether he will surrender on April 21 or seek a stay of his sentence.

Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan, representing Tan Ye Peng, said his client "has not made any changes to his plans". Tan had told reporters on Friday that he would "like to serve the sentence and move on".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2017, with the headline 'Some will start serving sentences by April 21'. Print Edition | Subscribe