City Harvest Church trial: No longer a church member, but...

SINAGPORE - The minute he stepped into Courtroom 3 on Tuesday, former City Harvest investment manager Chew Eng Han had a round black cushion and a bottle of mineral water waiting for him in the dock.

The items were supplied by City Harvest Church (CHC) church members, so that their leaders would be comfortable.

But Chew is no longer a member of the church, having quit in June.

Five church members and Chew are facing trial for embezzling over $50 million in church funds. In the dock, Chew - wearing a dark jacket and white shirt - sat shoulder to shoulder between senior pastor Tan Ye Peng and church finance manager Sharon Tan.

When he stepped out of the dock, Chew maintained a distance from the rest. While the other five huddled together to chat during the break, he stood or sat with his wife some distance away.

His wife was a constant presence as the second leg of the trial kicked off on Tuesday. It is scheduled to continue for about a month.

Mrs Chew was there every day for the first leg in May.

The third leg will take place from January to March next year.


Friends are helping to ferry her younger daughter to and from school while the trial is underway, she said.

What does she do to encourage her husband during this time? "We pray together. A group of church friends is also praying for us," the petite woman said.

Asked how Chew is preparing for the trial, she said: "He takes daily supplements, nothing special."

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