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2. articles that news groups may remove over time;
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Channel News Asia reports,
CHC trial: No intention of hiding information from auditors, Kong says
The prosecution had charged that the church’s auditors were not told the whole truth about sham bond transactions, but Kong Hee said he just wanted to be discreet about the church’s Crossover Project.
SINGAPORE: City Harvest Church had disclosed all information about its transactions to auditors, church founder Kong Hee maintained in court on Wednesday (Sep 10), during re-examination by his lawyer Edwin Tong.
Kong is one of six church 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.
Xtron was primarily a production house for music albums and also managed Ms Ho’s career. In 2007, it issued bonds aimed at raising funds to support the production of one of her albums.
Kong said the church’s auditors from Baker Tilly, including then-managing partner Foong Daw Ching, knew that Xtron was making a loss. Mr Foong also had clear and detailed knowledge of Xtron, including its activities, financial position and relationship with the church, said Kong.
Kong said he regarded the bonds in Xtron and Firna to be investments that could provide good returns to the church, and that he had no intention of keeping things from church executives and auditors as they are “our protection” who could guide and advise the church in doing things in a legal and legitimate way.
One of the points raised earlier by the prosecution was that Mr Foong was not told the whole truth about the transactions. The prosecution had also submitted that the true purpose of the consultations with Mr Foong was for the accused to perpetuate and facilitate the concealment of the alleged offences.
Kong on Wednesday maintained once again that he had no intention of keeping things from church executives and lawyers, but he wanted to be discreet about the church’s Crossover Project, when it came to the public.
The project was conceived in 2001 and revolved around Ms Ho recording and launching secular pop music albums as a means of evangelism, to reach out to non-Christians.
In this light, Kong said that the project was not going to be carried out in an overtly religious manner. Discretion was also required to take into account the sensibilities of foreign countries, in order to make inroads there, he said.
Kong’s lawyer is expected to wrap up his re-examination on Thursday. After that, the next witness, Sharon Tan, will take the stand.
Source: By Alice Chia, CHC trial: No intention of hiding information from auditors, Kong says, Channel News Asia, http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/chc-trial-no-intention-of/1355938.html, Published 10/09/2014 22:50, Updated 10/09/2014 23:33. (Accessed 16/09/2014.)