Singapore: 5 things you need to know about City Harvest case

5 City Harvest Church leaders surrender, begin jail terms
A combination photo shows City Harvest Church's members (top L-R to bottom L-R), former finance manager Serina Wee, former fund manager Chew Eng Han, former finance manager Sharon Tan, founder Kong Hee, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng and former treasurer John Lam arriving at the State Courts in Singapore October 21, 2015, where a verdict is expected to be delivered for their trial of misappropriating S$50 million ($42.5 million) of church funds and falsifying the church's accounts. Reuters

The Court of Appeal has on Thursday upheld the reduced sentences of City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee and five others convicted of misusing millions in church funds.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said he will deliver a ministerial statement in Parliament — which sits next week.

The City Harvest Church Criminal Breach of Trust Case is the biggest CBT case in Singapore since the beginning of the 21st century, revolving around City Harvest Church and its founders, especially Kong Hee.

Here are some of the keys facts involving the case:

Who are all involved?

The City Harvest Church case involves its founder and senior pastor Kong Hee, 53; deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 45; former finance managers Serina Wee, 41, and Sharon Tan, 42; former fund manager Chew Eng Han, 57, and former finance committee member John Lam, 50.

What did they do?

They misused church funds. There were irregularities of at least $23 million in the charity's funds, which were used to finance music production firm Xtron and glass maker Firna.

Another $26.6 million was used to create sham bond investments.

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What were the initial charges?

In October 2015, all six accused were arrested and found guilty of all criminal breach of trust charges pertaining to 409 read with section 109 of the Penal Code.

They were handed jail terms ranging from 21 months to eight years in November 2015.

However, the six appealed against their convictions and sentences.

What happened after the appeal?

Based on the appeals last April, the High Court cleared the six as agents and found them guilty of plain criminal breach of trust under Section 406 of the Penal Code.

As a result, their jail terms were cut to between seven months and 3 ½ years.

What's next?

The decision of the apex court on Thursday brings the long-running case to a close.

All the six convicts will continue to serve reduced jail terms of seven months to three and a half years, slashed from between 21 months and eight years.

This article was first published on February 2, 2018