We are trying to catalogue what is said on various media outlets to discover what is revealed in the Singapore courts. Different news groups focus on different information emerging from court procedures. Therefore, it is our hope that we can provide readers with:
1. as much detail of the case as possible;
2. articles that news groups may remove over time;
3. act as a resource for curious readers; and
4. a tool full of Christian and secular articles on this case that outreach to Christian brothers and sisters to leave these controlling mega-cults.
If we have missed a news article, please email us.
Channel News Asia reports,
Kong tried to wipe out links between City Harvest and Xtron: Prosecution
SINGAPORE: The trial of the six City Harvest Church leaders resumed on Monday (Sep 8), with prosecutors charging that founder Kong Hee and several of his deputies had attempted to wipe out any link between the church and Xtron Productions. This was to avoid questions from the authorities about the transactions between the two entities, they said.
But Kong said there was nothing sinister about what they had done, and they had only wanted to avoid any misconceptions by the authorities. He is one of six leaders accused of misusing church monies to buy sham bonds in two firms – Xtron and Firna – to bankroll the secular pop music career of Kong’s wife, Sun Ho.
Kong said the church’s relationship with Xtron was thrust into the spotlight in 2010, after it acquired a stake in Suntec Convention Centre. Speculation was rife online about church funds being siphoned into Xtron, and that the church leaders had benefited from this.
Kong cited a blogger known only as John Lim, who wrote that he wanted to expose the wrongdoings in Xtron. “He was insinuating that church funds were being siphoned into Xtron, and somehow we were benefiting from it, or there was some corruption involved,” said Kong, emphasising that the church’s money had been invested in legitimate Xtron bonds.
However, it is the prosecution’s case that Xtron – which was Ms Ho’s artiste management firm – was simply a shell company used by the accused to funnel church monies to finance Ms Ho’s music career.
Kong added that this was why there was a need for both entities to start on a “clean slate”. For this to happen, some transactions, which included expenses Xtron incurred from Ms Ho’s album production, would have to be cleared up. Xtron would also have to repay advance rental fees it received from the church.
“I believe to clear off the Advance Rental License Agreement (ARLA), we would need Wahju to make good the album expenses,” said Kong, referring to Indonesian businessman and longtime church member Wahju Hanafi – who he claimed had given a personal guarantee to make good the album expenses totalling some S$30 million.
This prompted the prosecution to question why, if there was indeed such a guarantee, Kong had asked Mr Hanafi for a loan to cover Ms Ho’s US album expenses, with the promise that some of it would be returned.
Following several prompts by the prosecution and an accusation that he was being “evasive”, Kong replied that it was a “big financial burden” and that he and his deputies wanted to shoulder it together with Mr Hanafi. “He was a man of means, he had to take loans because he has invested his money into his business. And he had his other commitments as well. So while Wahju was willing to make good his guarantee to support us, or support the album cost, at the same time we wanted to help because this is also our mission,” he said.
The prosecution disputed Kong’s claims. “The reason why you were trying to sweep the transactions with Xtron under the carpet is because that’s what you do if your house is dirty and a visitor might be turning up unexpectedly,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong.
Source: ByKong tried to wipe out links between City Harvest and Xtron: Prosecution, Channel News Asia, Published 08/09/2014 22:42. (Updated 08/09/2014 23:35. (Accessed 10/09/2014.)
City Harvest trial: Kong accused of sweeping dirt under the carpet
When City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee and his church leaders realised that the authorities were on their trail, they allegedly tried to do a cover-up and eliminated links between the church and Xtron, the management company responsible for promoting the music career of Kong’s singer-wife Ho Yeow Sun.
This was the charge raised by the prosecution in court when the trial continued on Monday 8 September, Channel NewsAsia reported.
Kong and five church leaders are accused of misusing more than S$50 million in church funds to finance Ho’s music career.
The prosecution argued that the church leaders did that to avoid questioning from the authorities, but Kong said in defence that he did that to avoid misconceptions because speculation was going rife online that church leaders were benefiting from church-goers’ donations.
Apparently, a blogger identified as John Lim “was insinuating that church funds were being siphoned into Xtron, and somehow we were benefiting from it, or there was some corruption involved”, the news channel reported Kong as saying.
This happened in 2010, after the church acquired a stake in Suntec Convention Centre.
Kong said there was a need for the church and Xtron to begin on a “clean slate”, adding that one way to do so was to clear up expenses Xtron incurred from the music ventures, and Xtron would also have to repay advance rental fees it received from the church.
Kong had turned to Indonesian businessman Wahju Hanafi, who is a longtime member of the church, saying that he had personally guaranteed to cover Ho’s album costs totalling some S$30 million.
Kong said the sum promised was needed if the advance rental fees were to be repaid and that they would repay Wahju partially in time.
The prosecution then questioned why there was the intention to return part of the money if Wahju had made the guarantee.
Kong replied after some exchange in court that the businessman had his other commitments, and while “Wahju was willing to make good his guarantee to support us, or support the album cost, at the same time we wanted to help because this is also our mission”.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong did not buy the response. The news channel quoted him as saying: “The reason why you (Kong Hee) were trying to sweep the transactions with Xtron under the carpet is because that’s what you do if your house is dirty and a visitor might be turning up unexpectedly.”
Source: By inSing Editor, City Harvest trial: Kong accused of sweeping dirt under the carpet, inSing, http://features.insing.com/feature/city-harvest-trial-kong-accused-of-sweeping-dirt-under-the-carpet/id-1d4e3101/, Published 09/09/2014 4:58 PM. Updated 5:02 PM. (Accessed 10/09/2014.)