City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee and 5 CHC leaders back in court on April 7

Ng Huiwen
The Straits Times
2 April 2017

The six City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders convicted of misappropriating millions in church funds will be back in the High Court on Friday (April 7), possibly marking a close to the marathon trial.

CHC founder and senior pastor Kong Hee, 52, and five other CHC leaders will appear before Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin, and Justices Woo Bih Li and Chan Seng Onn.

The outcome of the appeals by the accused and the prosecution is expected to be delivered at about 9.30am.

The prosecution had called for longer sentences of between five and 12 years, instead of the 21 months to eight years given, while the six have appealed against their convictions and sentences.

Besides Kong, the other CHC leaders include CHC deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 43; former CHC finance committee member John Lam, 48; former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, 57; former CHC finance managers Serina Wee, 39 and Sharon Tan, 40.

In October 2015, they were convicted of misappropriating millions in church funds to fuel the pop music career of Kong's wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun, in a church mission known as the Crossover Project.

The court found that they had invested $24 million from CHC's building fund in bogus bonds from music production firm Xtron and glass-maker Firna, and the money was used to fund the Crossover Project. Later, another $26 million was used to cover up the initial misdeed.

At the close of a five-day appeal hearing in September 2016, Justice Chan had called their project a "very extravagant" way of spreading the gospel.