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So, what happened to the CAD's investigation on City Harvest?

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Old 29-08-2012, 09:32 PM   #421
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Old 30-08-2012, 10:32 PM   #422
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No news of Kong hee?
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Old 31-08-2012, 08:13 AM   #423
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No news of Kong hee?
What news u expect ? Just pre trail conference only.

Wait another one month more ! Hearing sets for 4th Octobet.
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Old 31-08-2012, 08:48 AM   #424
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I am still wondering why Sun Ho is not charged considering the money was allegedly used by her to fund her singing career according to the news.
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Old 31-08-2012, 03:23 PM   #425
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we shall see as the saga unfolds...
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Old 31-08-2012, 04:21 PM   #426
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I am still wondering why Sun Ho is not charged considering the money was allegedly used by her to fund her singing career according to the news.
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Old 31-08-2012, 10:51 PM   #427
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What news u expect ? Just pre trail conference only.

Wait another one month more ! Hearing sets for 4th Octobet.
Correction , 4 October is not hearing, it is another pre trail conference .
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:11 AM   #428
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http://sg.news.yahoo.com/chc-members...gal-fees-.html


[UPDATE on 22 Aug: adding COC statement on raising funds for legal case]

The Commissioner of Charities has spoken up on news of City Harvest church members moving to raise funds to support their six leaders who are embroiled in a mismanagement of funds legal case.

In a statement responding to media queries on Tuesday, it said it had earlier imposed a restriction order to the church board, disallowing them from paying legal fees for church co-founder Kong Hee, or his five fellow accused church leaders.

The order, it said, extends to "transactions relating to payment of services to the suspended individuals and their related entities" as well.

"The COC has informed CHC that the church and/or its employees should not be involved in raising funds for their legal expenses or setting up a specific fund for this purpose," the statement said.

Separately, several City Harvest members are believed to be privately raising funds to help pay for beleaguered co-founder Pastor Kong Hee’s legal fees as well as that of five other leaders.

The unofficial fundraising effort came to light during CHC’s AGM last Sunday, when an executive member named Dawn Lee spoke up about her intention to mobilise individuals who wanted to offer Kong and the five financial support, reported The Straits Times.

Ms Lee claimed to know other members who had privately come together to raise money, and her speech was met with cheers from the 560 executive members present.

She then suggested that interested members meet her after the meeting before distributing her contact details.

Ms Lee’s announcement came after executive pastor Aries Zulkarnain rejected four proposals from other members suggesting the use of church funds to bankroll the six charged leaders’ legal fees.

Thanking the members for their ideas, Zulkarnain emphasized that the church was not allowed to assist Kong and the five with their legal fees. He also added that CHC could not endorse any mass demonstration by members.

According to The Straits Times, one of the four motions suggested by executive members included the setting up a donation fund for Kong Hee and the other leaders.

Last month, several youth church leaders also came together to record a music video to show support of Kong Hee and City Harvest.

Kong, his right hand man Tan Ye Peng, finance manger Sharon Tan, church investment manager Chew Eng Han, former church finance manager Serina Wee, and board management member John Lam Leng Hung have been charged with conspiring to misappropriate millions of dollars from the church’s funds.

They have been charged with putting S$24 million into sham investments to help fund the music career of Pastor Kong Hee's wife, Sun Ho. Another S$26 million worth of church funds were then allegedly misappropriated to balance the church’s account books.

With the exception of Kong, all the other five are represented by senior counsels – considered the best, and also the most expensive of lawyers.

A lawyer Yahoo! Singapore spoke to said that those who employed senior counsels would be looking at legal bills of at least $1.5 million -- or more – in the case of a lengthy trial, which looks to be the case.

“In any event, I would imagine that they would hire senior counsels only if they could actually afford it – this news that church members want to give them financial support would be damaging and not beneficial to their images, there will definitely be more accusations that they are extravagant and ripping their followers off,” said a criminal lawyer who declined to be named

He added that his advice, if they were his clients, would be to distance themselves from any kind of cash offering or support.

Church members interviewed by Yahoo! said the motions were triggered by the congregation’s concerns that the families of the six would be financially impacted by their loss of income.

“Many of us feel that, on top of the emotional troubles they are facing, they should not also have to worry or struggle about the legal fees. To us, our leaders are also family, and if it is a personal decision to help them out, I don’t think it’s against the law,” said teacher Alicia Goh, 29.

She added that she would be interested to hear more about Ms Lee’s mobilization of financial donations and that she trusts that the money will be “put to good use”.

“I hope that the public can just see this as friends supporting another friend in need. Just as Pastor Kong has given us spiritual and financial help without condition, we are doing the same. It’s a private affair, so please don’t judge us,” said marketing executive Donald Ho, 37.

If found guilty, Kong Hee could face a maximum of life imprisonment and fine.

Last week, lawyers for all six charged said their clients would likely not be pleading guilty -- which means they are likely to claim trial.

The six will be in court on Aug 30 when their case is mentioned again.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:12 AM   #429
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Kong Hee to Plead 'Not Guilty' When City Harvest Church Trial Resumes



The well-followed court case of Singaporean pastor Kong Hee, who is being accused of misusing $18 million in funds from his City Harvest Church, has been adjourned until Oct. 4 and it has been reported that the megachurch pastor plans to plead not guilty to the charges.

Additionally, news outlets report that all six of the church's senior leaders who are being charged in the case are likely to plead not guilty, their lawyers determined in a pre-trial, closed door meeting on Thursday.

"I do maintain my integrity, and will rigorously defend that integrity against these charges," Kong, 47, said July 25, according to Singaporean newswire Today Online.

"Sun [Kong's wife] and I would like to take this opportunity to thank God for all the people who have blessed us with their love, kindness and prayers during this challenging period of time. We have been tremendously humbled by the support and encouragement from the public, family and friends. We especially thank all those from City Harvest Church and the Christian community at large. They have been a constant source of strength," the pastor added.

Those facing charges, which include "criminal breach of trust" and falsifying accounts, include Kong Hee, Pastor Tan Ye Peng, John Lam, Chew Eng Han, Sharon Tanon, and Serina Wee.

The six City Harvest Church leaders are accused of collaborating to siphon $18 million, initially meant for the church's building fund, into the pop career of Kong's wife, Sun Ho, who is in her early 40s.

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Only one defendant, the church's former financial manager Chew Eng Han, accompanied his defense lawyer to the Aug. 30 pre-trial conference.

While all most of the defendants' passports have been impounded, Chew was requesting to travel overseas for personal reasons.

His request was granted, and his bail was increased from $500,000 to $1 million.

"Life goes on for me and I've every reason to be upbeat," Chew told reporters as he exited the courthouse Thursday, failing to mention where he was going and for how long.

In July, Kong, whose charges include three counts of criminal breach of trust, also received permission to travel around the Southeast Asia region for pastoral engagements.

Kong could face life in prison if found guilty of all charges.


Read more at Kong Hee to Plead 'Not Guilty' When City Harvest Church Trial Resumes
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:15 AM   #430
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Correction , 4 October is not hearing, it is another pre trail conference .
Why delay so much? Waste of time and $$. Nvm. At least, Serina wee have extra 2 months of time to spend with her baby before they face trial in court.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:41 PM   #431
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Why delay so much? Waste of time and $$. Nvm. At least, Serina wee have extra 2 months of time to spend with her baby before they face trial in court.
This is normal process, nothing delay. I know many people eager to see them in court but let's respect our juridical system.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:35 PM   #432
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Singapore Christians angered over City Harvest Church asking for money



SINGAPORE: Christians here in Singapore are livid over reports that the mega-church City Harvest Church, currently facing charges of corruption and misuse of funds, is now asking worshipers to donate money in order to assist founder and Executive Director Kong Hee in his court battle.

“They are charged with misusing their own worshipers money and now they are asking for them to give more, which they probably wasted on personal projects? It is ridiculous and wrong on a number of levels,” said David Wong, a Christian man in Singapore, who told Bikyamasr.com that he had attended a few services at CHC in the past.

“But is was a big show and I didn’t really like it,” he added. “And now this scandal. It doesn’t make sense for people to give them money.”

Pastor Kong is facing a number of charges including embezzlement and using church funds for personal use. The controversy has left many in the city questioning the role of faith and business.

The pastor is one of six members of the church to face charges in what is believed to be the largest financial scandal to hit Singapore’s charity sector to date.

He was arrested in June and accused of “dishonestly misappropriating monies” from the church’s building fund to promote and support the pop music career of his wife, Sun Ho, who is in her early 40s.

Bikyamasr.com has followed the controversy closely over the weeks, highlighting the inside workings of the mega-church. The issue has struck home for many Christians in the country who feel the situation in Singapore for them is being tarnished by the actions of a few individuals.

The founder of Singapore’s embattled City Harvest Church Kong issued a statement late on Wednesday detailing the charges against him as well as maintaining that he did not participate in any wrongdoing and again maintained his “integrity.”

“The Prosecution has brought three charges against me, which I have carefully considered with my lawyers,” he began in a statement to the media.

“I do maintain my integrity, and will rigorously defend that integrity against these charges,” Kong continued.

He is charged with misusing church funds and corruption charges as the head of the Singapore mega-church. If convicted, he could face a lengthy jail sentence.

“I have and will continue to place my faith and trust in our judicial system. I will explain the facts and circumstances to the Court, and am confident that I will be vindicated.

“Sun and I would like to take this opportunity to thank God for all the people who have blessed us with their love, kindness and prayers during this challenging period of time. We have been tremendously humbled by the support and encouragement from the public, family and friends. We especially thank all those from City Harvest Church and the Christian community at large. They have been a constant source of strength.

“I respect the Court proceedings which are underway, and will not make any comment about the charges until the appropriate time and forum.”

The case was adjourned on Wednesday until August 30.

In late June, as the church was charged with misusing some $50 million of church money, they appointed New Zealand’s Reverend Phil Pringle and Reverend A.R. Bernard to function as advisory pastors in order to maintain services for worshipers without break.

Pringle is the founder and senior minister of Christian City Church in Sydney, Australia.

But now that he is in Singapore, working for a church embattled with corruption charges, he has become targeted by the Christian watchdog organization C3 Church Watch, which tasks itself with overseeing good practices at Christian organizations globally.

The group’s blog said that it was “designed to watch and monitor C3 Church and its pastors, specifically Phil Pringle.”

It has raised questions about the New Zealand-born pastor’s religious credentials and teachings.

It is the latest in a weeklong battle over embezzlement charges and fears that the situation could potentially see the end of City Harvest, which hosted some 14,000 over the weekend in services.

Controversy

The church’s founder Kong Hee was quick to acknowledge why some 8,000 people had packed into the church earlier this month for his sermon.

“I also know that you are all here tonight to hear something from me.

“As you know, the past few days have been very challenging for me, my family and my team, and many allegations have been made in the media.

“Obviously, as this is an ongoing case, I cannot comment on the details, but please know that there are always two sides to every story. I look forward to the day when I can tell you my side of the story in court,” he said.

Seven minutes into his sermon about a woman who had worshiped Jesus humbly, Kong stopped and told his congregation, “Yes, I do maintain my integrity.”

But it comes on the back of much controversy and uncertainty regarding the church’s future.

Singapore’s City Harvest Church Executive Pastor Aries Zulkarnain said last Thursday evening that he and his Church stand by members accused of embezzling and misusing funds.

He said the Church will maintain support for the accused throughout the court proceedings.

Another pastor from the Church, Bobby Chaw, added that City Harvest has “actively worked to ensure good governance and have complied with codes set by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.”

Five members of City Harvest Church were charged by a court on Wednesday of corruption, misuse of funds and embezzlement, Channel NewsAsia reported.

The report said the court charged City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee with three charges, while senior pastor Tan Ye Peng faces 10 charges. Finance manager Tan Shao Yuen faces seven charges.

Senior member Chew Eng Han also faces 10 charges and former secretary of the church’s management board Lam Leng Hung faces three charges.

The five allegedly diverted some S$23 million (RM57 million) of the church’s money to fund Ho Yeow Sun’s music career in the United States. Ho is Kong Hee’s wife.

CNA said they were charged for another S$26.6 million (RM66 million) of misappropriated funds, used to redeem “sham bonds” to cover their tracks.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:38 PM   #433
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A church scandal in Singapore: Reaping what they sow | The Economist


THE city-state of Singapore likes to think of itself as squeaky clean, so the prosecution of a priest, no less, for corruption has caused a furore. On July 25th Kong Hee, pastor at City Harvest Church (CHC), and five others appeared in court on charges of misusing up to S$50m ($40m) of church money to fund the music career of Mr Kong’s flamboyant wife, Sun Ho. The case has divided Singapore’s fast-growing Christian community, which makes up about a fifth of the 5m population. It also worries those who see corruption as a growing problem.

The CHC is Singapore’s largest mega-church, with more than 30,000 members. Ms Ho helped to found the church and started singing as a way to broaden the church’s appeal: skimpy outfits and provocative gyrations helped. A decade ago she became a full-time pop singer. She has released several albums. Her home is a mansion in Hollywood Hills, California.

Mr Kong’s detractors are smug after years of wailing about the evils and excesses of the new mega-churches which, they claim, put entertainment before spirituality, Mammon before God. Mr Kong often prophesied that donations to the church would cause donors’ personal wealth to swell. Such a “prosperity gospel” exploits the materialist aspirations of young Singaporeans living in a society with more millionaires per head than almost any other.

Church members have closed ranks, claiming that they approve of their leaders’ spending (CHC’s building fund alone raised S$23m last year). They seem to have trusted Mr Kong to spend their money in any way he saw fit. Local activists also acknowledge that the church contributes much to the wider community. Still, the case has revealed a lack of accountability and transparency at religious organisations. Worshippers often place blind faith in their church leaders, showing little interest in where their tithes and donations go.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:52 PM   #434
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Accused in City Harvest saga permitted to travel - Channel NewsAsia

It looks to me they can jolly well enjoy their Christmas this year as the next PTC sets for Nov 22. Therefore, I don't think they will face the music in court this year.

Happy holiday!
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:40 AM   #435
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Accused in City Harvest saga permitted to travel - Channel NewsAsia

It looks to me they can jolly well enjoy their Christmas this year as the next PTC sets for Nov 22. Therefore, I don't think they will face the music in court this year.

Happy holiday!
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2012 will be huat huat huat?
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