Chew raised some very interesting questions again. We will look at Kong’s response when we get time.
City Harvest Trial: Former Fund Manager Attempts To Discredit Crossover Project
Chew Eng Han had a change of heart about the Crossover Project in 2013 after being charged. This morning he worked hard to discredit the project he previously championed.
Former fund manager Chew Eng Han told the court this morning that he, along with the members of City Harvest Church had “trusted the leadership” and took what was told to them “at face value”.
Citing that a series of events apparently led him to discover that the Crossover Project was something other than he believed, Chew produced new evidence in court in a bid to show that Sun Ho’s success in Asia and China was “fake”.
Although defense lawyers objected to Chew producing new evidence in court at this juncture, and even when the judge questioned him, Chew insisted that the new evidence was necessary to show his state of mind at the time when he was handling the financing for the Crossover.
Chew went on at length about a series of First Day cover stamps that carried Sun’s image. He challenged Kong that the church were told that these First Day covers were exclusive and that Ho was the only celebrity outside of China to have been presented these, that the First Day covers were “fake” and could be bought for a small sum.
Kong explained the First Day covers had been presented to Ho, along with a plaque bearing the title “Ambassador of Love” in June 2004 by the China Children and Teenagers Fund (CCTF), a non-profit organization in China, and the All-Women China Federation (AWCF) for the work she had done with needy children in primary schools, university student and donations she had made towards school-building efforts. The presentation was a “real event” attended by “real people”, said Kong, adding that he had no reason to believe that there was anything fake about the items presented to Ho.
Producing an article downloaded from Baidu.com, Chew insisted that the award and the first day covers were faked by Kong and others in a bid to show the church that Ho was successful and honored in China. Kong reiterated that these were authentic and genuine events attended by real officials and if what Chew alleged was true, then the government officials would have been in on the “scam” as well.
Budgeting And Financing Of Crossover Through Bonds
Earlier that morning, Chew brought up Kong’s statement to the CAD and sought to show that Kong’s answers to the CAD at the time of questioning were inaccurate. When asked by the CAD to name individuals who were involved in the budgeting and financing of the Firna bonds, Kong had included Chew’s name. Chew showed the court emails in which the budgeting of the Crossover was discussed, but Chew was not in the loop.
Kong said that he had been “presumptuous” that Chew had been involved in the budgeting. He explained that in later statements to the CAD he clarified this point and that Chew was not involved in the budgeting, only in the financing aspect of the Crossover.
He also clarified that he had not said that Chew had independently exercised discretion with regards to the bonds. He said that Chew knew the financial needs of the Crossover and recommended a structure of CHC investing in Xtron through bonds. Xtron could then use the proceeds of the bonds for the Crossover. Kong had given instructions to check if this was approved by lawyers, auditors and the management board of the church.
Chew also dredged up a Singapore Season brochure, which was a publication marking an event held in Beijing in 2007, and questioned Kong on Ho’s involvement. It was heard that Ho was not at the opening ceremony. Chew also brought up a video for the Summer Special Olympics 2008 featuring Ho and China singer Sun Nan singing the official theme song, and challenged Kong that Ho had not actually performed at the Special Olympics. Kong replied that, to the best of his knowledge, the video was produced for the Special Olympics and that Ho had been invited by the Beijing Olympic Committee to record the video with Sun Nan.
Chew also brought up a February 2008 email from Ho’s creative director Mark Kwan to Tan Ye Peng, in which Kwan said Ho’s genuine fan base in Singapore was between one to two thousand. Kong explained that context: This was after “China Wine” had launched and Wyclef Jean suggested doing an Asian tour with Ho to “reintroduce her to Asia”. However, the performances would have to be held in clubs as the musical style was reggae, said Kong, and there was little chance that Christians would go to these clubs to support her. Kong told the court that after this email, he had talked to Kwan and reminded him about the purpose of the Crossover. Kong said that, at that point, Kwan was concerned about the secular aspect, while Kong and Tan were more concerned about the outreach aspect of the Crossover.
“Crossing The Line”
Chew’s introduction of new exhibits upon new exhibits this morning drove senior counsel N Sreenivasan, who acts for Tan, to point out that these exhibits were not relevant to the charges and may be prejudicial, despite Chew’s claiming that they were intended to show his “state of mind”.
The judge agreed that much latitude had been granted Chew as a litigant-in-person, but there were limits to that latitude. Chew proceeded to attempt to read from a redacted exhibit, but was stopped by the judge.
Court resumed at 2.30pm.
Source: The City News Team, City Harvest Trial: Former Fund Manager Attempts To Discredit Crossover Project, http://www.citynews.sg/2014/08/city-harvest-trial-former-fund-manager-attempts-to-discredit-crossover-project/, Updated on August 18, 2014 at 3:17 pm. (Accessed 18/08/2014.)