Evidence you have given is false

Evidence you have given is false
John Lam (right) crossed swords with Chew Eng Han in court as the latter tried to discredit his earlier assertion that it was Chew’s idea to cook up the alleged sham deals that landed the six accused in court.

SINGAPORE - Fingers were pointed at him as he sat quietly in court the past two days.

Yesterday, co-accused Chew Eng Han, who is defending himself after having dismissed his lawyer in May, went on the offensive.

The former City Harvest Church's (CHC) fund manager shot back at fellow accused John Lam.

Lam, a former CHC board member, 46, had said that it was Chew's idea to set up music production firm Xtron Productions.

Yesterday, Chew, 54, showed Lam two e-mails. One was from another accused, CHC Deputy Senior Pastor Tan Ye Peng, about starting the events company.


He told Lam: "I'm putting it to you right now that I didn't approach you, I didn't have this grand vision of a media events company.

"I had a full-time job. I was not into entertainment, nor into concerts. I'll put it to you that the evidence you have given to the court that it was my idea is false."

Lam later admitted: "Based on this e-mail, it will suggest that it was not you who thought of the idea to set up Xtron."

Chew and Lam, along with City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee, 49, are among six church leaders who are accused of misusing more than $50 million of church money through sham bonds. (See report on right.)

Lam was the first to take the stand when the trial resumed on Monday.

Chew's confrontation with Lam was not the only tense moment during Chew's cross-examination of his fellow accused.

Even before he began questioning Lam, he asked defence lawyers for copies of the documents.

During the proceedings, he was also stopped a few times by the defence lawyers and Chief Prosecutor Mavis Chionh over legal procedural issues.

State Courts Presiding Judge See Kee Oon had to step in and explain to Chew the right procedures.

Chew also asked Lam whether he thought CHC was a "risk taker". When Lam asked if he was referring to a specific area, Chew said: "Almost every area?"

Chew then cited an instance when, on behalf of CHC, he invested $2.2 million of church funds into the Superbowl stock sometime between 1998 and 1999.

Pausing before he answered, Lam said: "There was some concern at that time once I realised all 2.2 (million) was put into one stock... Yes, it is a risk taker."

The trial continues today.

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