City Harvest trial: Document 'suggests witness not truthful'

City Harvest trial: Document 'suggests witness not truthful'

It was a scheme which seemed to show that City Harvest Church's $11 million investment in glassware company Firna was nothing more than a sham.

But when the company owner Wahju Hanafi claimed he was unaware of this plan until much later, the prosecution produced a document seized from his father-inlaw's home which suggested he was not truthful.

This was just one of several inconsistencies which the State tried to expose on Tuesday as it turned on prosecution witness Mr Hanafi in the trial of church founder Kong Hee and five of his deputies over the alleged misuse of $50 million in church funds.

Part of this money was allegedly used to fund the music career of Kong's wife Ho Yeow Sun.

Since last Friday, Mr Hanafi agreed with defence lawyers that several of the church's allegedly suspect transactions were above board. One key transaction involved the church's investment in Firna bonds. The agreement in 2008 gave the church the right to convert the bonds to 40 per cent of the Indonesian company.

A letter signed by John Lam Leng Hung, one of the accused, promised to sell back the shares at just US$1 (S$1.30) if this happened.

The prosecution believes this assurance, which weakened the church's financial position, was used to persuade Mr Hanafi's father-in-law, who part-owned Firna then, to agree to the bond sale.

Mr Hanafi maintained that he did not see the letter until a year after the bond agreement.

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