CHC auditor tells defence: 'Don't put words in my mouth'

CHC auditor tells defence: 'Don't put words in my mouth'
Foong Daw Ching, auditor and a partner at accounting firm Baker Tilly TFW.

SINGAPORE - You descended to saying that you're not a very good auditor just to distance yourself from the case.

This was just one of the many allegations that Kong Hee's lawyer Edwin Tong threw at auditor Foong Daw Ching on Monday.

As Mr Tong questioned the prosecution witness' credibility, tempers flared and barbs were traded.

The 63-year-old auditor accused Kong's lawyer of putting words into his mouth, growing increasing testy at some of the questions.

At one point, his face visibly flushed, Mr Foong raised his voice and said, "Hello, hello, hello... don't put words in my mouth."

Mr Tong was the first of the defence lawyers to cross examine Mr Foong of accounting firm Baker Tilly, the company that went through City Harvest Church's (CHC) account books.

Church founder Kong and five other senior church members are on trial for allegedly misusing more than $50 million of church funds, funnelling it into sham bond investment to fund the pop music career of Kong's wife Sun Ho.

E-mails produced in court showed that Mr Foong, fondly called "Bro Foong" by the City Harvest Six, periodically gave the group financial advice about the church.

But the auditor insisted that all this was done in his private capacity and he knew little of the deals.

In court on Monday, Mr Tong suggested at least six times that Mr Foong was feigning ignorance, and that he had knowingly given the church advice on their accounts in his professional capacity. He went through Mr Foong's achievements as an auditor, even bringing out court documents from a case where he had testified as an expert witness.

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