High Court to deliver verdict on City Harvest Church leaders' appeal on April 7, 2017

The prosecution has asked for higher sentences for all six leaders.

Belmont Lay | April 01, 2017, 01:26 AM

And so, the end is near.

On Friday, April 7, 2017, the High Court will deliver the verdict on an appeal by City Harvest Church leaders.

This decision comes after more than one-and-a-half years following the guilty verdict all six leaders received.


Sentenced in October 2015

On Oct. 21, 2015, all six CHC leaders were found guilty of all charges levelled against them, including criminal breach of trust and falsification of accounts.

A month later, on Nov. 20, all six were sentenced to jail.

The sentences for the six accused were scheduled to start on Jan. 11, 2016, after it was initially deferred.

However, on Nov. 27, 2015, the Attorney-General’s Chambers filed appeals against the sentence issued to the six church leaders, on the grounds that it was “manifestly inadequate”.

On Dec. 2, 2015, Kong Hee and the other five defendants also filed appeals to overturn their conviction.

Appeals in 2016

On March 4, 2016, it was reported that the appeal hearing would commence in September.

The appeal ran from Sept. 16 to 21, 2016.

At the close of appeal hearing, Justice Chao Hick Tin adjourned the case to give the judges time to go through the trial’s voluminous record.

Justice Chao said then: “This is something we need to give special consideration to… we can only promise you a judgment ASAP.”

No date for a judgment was given initially.

By now, the case has run into its seventh year, as word of the case first broke back in 2010.

In the early hours of June 26, 2012, Kong Hee and four other CHC leaders were arrested in a pre-dawn raid and charged with misuse of funds. Serina Wee became the sixth CHC leader to be charged a month later on July 25, 2012.

Appeal by prosecution to up sentences

Prosecutors have urged the High Court to to increase the sentences of all six leaders, and not only uphold the convictions:

Kong Hee: From 8 years to 11 to 12 years' jail

Tan Ye Peng: From 5 years and 6 months to 11 to 12 years' jail

Chew Eng Han: From 6 years to 11 to 12 years' jail

Serina Wee: From 5 years to 11 to 12 years' jail

John Lam: From 3 years to 8 to 9 years' jail

Sharon Tan: From 21 months to 5 to 6 years' jail


If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates.