Cases

Stream of headline grabbers from State Courts

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee arriving at the State Courts in April to surrender himself and begin his jail term. The High Court reduced the sentences of Kong and five other church leaders on appeal after convicting them of a lesser charge of
City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee arriving at the State Courts in April to surrender himself and begin his jail term. The High Court reduced the sentences of Kong and five other church leaders on appeal after convicting them of a lesser charge of plain criminal breach of trust. The sentences were reduced to between seven months and 31/2 years in prison. ST FILE PHOTO
City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee arriving at the State Courts in April to surrender himself and begin his jail term. The High Court reduced the sentences of Kong and five other church leaders on appeal after convicting them of a lesser charge of
Seet Seo Boon was among the first six people to be charged under the Organised Crime Act.ST FILE PHOTO

In April, the High Court reduced the sentences of the six City Harvest Church leaders - including founder Kong Hee - on appeal after convicting them of a lesser charge of plain criminal breach of trust.

The sentences were reduced to between seven months and 31/2 years in prison from the initial 21 months to eight years.

The prosecution then applied for a rarely invoked criminal reference to seek a definitive ruling from the Court of Appeal as well as to reinstate the original convictions under Section 409. Judgment was reserved after a hearing in August.

Headline-grabbing cases from the State Courts were not in short supply. These included the first six people to be charged under the Organised Crime Act, a new law aimed at fighting criminal syndicates.

The group, led by 53-year-old Seet Seo Boon, were among 49 people arrested last year in a crackdown on criminal rings. About $25.5 million, believed to be proceeds from crime, were seized from the group.

In May, a former engineer with a history of shoplifting became the tragic face of kleptomania after she was found dead at the foot of a block of flats in Sengkang, a day before a court hearing.

Goh Lee Yin, 36, was facing nine charges of theft and fraudulent possession. She was hauled to court for shoplifting in 2005 and 2007, and given probation after being diagnosed with kleptomania. She was jailed for similar offences in 2011.

 
 
 
 

People suffering from the condition have a recurrent urge to steal.

Keppel Corporation's offshore and marine unit is set to pay US$422.2 million (S$565 million) in fines, in a resolution with the authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore in relation to bribes by a former Keppel agent in Brazil.

In Singapore, as part of the deal, Keppel Offshore & Marine accepted a conditional warning in lieu of prosecution for corruption offences.

But an ongoing probe against individuals involved by the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau could throw up more revelations in the new year.

K.C. Vijayan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2017, with the headline 'Stream of headline grabbers from State Courts'. Print Edition | Subscribe