Dear Mrs Light,
I have been following the CHC trial closely and attended quite a number of sessions, especially the recent Appeal by the 6 accused [appellants].
There are a quite a number of relevant questions, important facts and contemporaneous evidences presented in the hearing not reported by the press:
- Christopher Ong used an analogy of the Ferrari car to tell the court how the church members were not told that Building Fund were used for the Crossover. This made sense until I got to hear that very same morning that it’s in the agreed statement of fact that the members were told in the August 2010 EOGM that Building Fund were used for the Crossover project. Not only the EM ratified it but they also approved to continue with the crossover project and authorize the Board to support the mission on behalf of the church. This was after the CAD raid.
- After CEH[Chew Eng Han] or Maniam[appeal for Serina Wee] or both of them pointed out that the Constitution allowed the Board to make decision in the investment of Building Fund in whatever may it deemed to be in the best interest of the church, Judge Chan asked if the Constitution empowered the accused to invest without constriction. Yet, by setting up the Investment Policy, it actually constricted them to certain parameters of investment. To me, this is quite an important fact and could determine if John Lam is really the Inside Man as the Prosecution made him out to be.
- CEH read out from the Constitution that the Board is entitled to invest via a nominee. So in my understanding, even if Xtron (nominee) is actually controlled by KH who is acting for the church project, how did control become an issue.
- CEH came up with an interesting concept of what misappropriation means to the public and this resonates to me as a common lay man. Since there is no legal definition of misappropriation, so we rely on the meaning of the dictionary that basically says that misappropriation is depriving the owner of his entitled benefit when you used it for your own benefit. But in this case, all the funds were used for the benefit of the church. He is asking how is it misappropriation from his understanding as a common man. Thus, to him the objective and subjective test of the dishonest misappropriation charges are wrong. It should not be “wrong use = misappropriation = dishonesty”. For the test to stand, it should be theft = misappropriation = dishonesty. And he didn’t steal any money. Instead he said he gave more than $1M and did not charge any fees for the bonds as he is a giver and not a thief.
- Another interesting point to note on the last day of the Appeal. Christopher Ong now said that there is indirect benefit to KH[Kong Hee], being the husband of SH[Sun Ho]. CEH brought up to the Judges that the Prosecutors kept changing their position. CEH had in fact open the gate for them and Judge See to probe into personal gain in the earlier trail but they did nothing to follow up. Now on the last day of the Appeal, they are flip flopping on their position to say there is indirect benefit to KH.
-And lastly, to be fair to KH although I am no supporter of him, his lawyer did produce quite a number of contemporaneous evidence of third party professional assessment of SH with comprehensive and meticulous business plan and sales projection for profit. This was what the 3 judges wanted to see.
I am disappointed to note that the press wrote little, if not at all on the above relevant info, so as to give the public a fair and objective knowledge of what was being heard in the court. I am glad that I am able to attend the court hearing and listen for myself the key arguments of both the Prosecutor and Defence.
I am still figuring out no wonder this is such an odd conspiracy and without precedence, according to the Judges. It’s not a case of the conspirators running away with the money. But one of the basis of the charges is that they are responsible for ensuring that the money comes back to the church.
Mrs Light, if you can check the past trial record for me.
Christopher Ong said on the last day of Appeal that the accused scrambled to put money back as restitution after the CAD raid started. Somehow, I remembered from the previous trial that portions of the money were already paid before the CAD raid?
All I seek as a interested public is a fair trail and a balanced and responsible report.
[Mrs Light’s reply: You can search my old post from my Archives. Choose “September 2014”. You have good memory. What you said was during Kong Hee’s cross-examination days.
ALRA was formally terminated on 31 March 2010.
The CAD raid happened after the ARLA rescinded. All the money was back to the church before the 6 appellants were charged.
DPP position is that the termination of the ALRA flows from the purchase of Suntec as well as Kong’s concerns over the bloggers.
Kong position is that because the advance rental was fully repaid, when the ARLA was rescinded, no loss has been suffered by the church in relation to the debts that first started out as the Xtron and Firna bonds.]