Last month it was reported that Kong Hee, founder and pastor of Singapore’s City Harvest Church, had been arrested along with four others for allegedly misusing church funds. Stemming from a two-year long investigation, the five face accusations of misappropriating over $50 million in church funds. It is claimed that many of these funds were used to finance the music career of Hee’s wife, Ho Yeow Sun.
The five original accused were scheduled to appear in court this week. Reports have now emerged that a sixth person has been charged in this case. Channel News Asia reports:
City Harvest Church’s former finance manager, Serina Wee Gek Yin, was read 10 charges – six related to criminal breach of trust and four to falsifying accounts.
Wee allegedly instigated a church accountant to record false entries in the church books on four occasions.
During the session, prosecution and defence came to agreement that the next mention will be 5 weeks later, on 30 August, so that all cases can be brought up at the same time.
All six are claiming trial and are out on bail of S$500,000 each.
Following yesterday’s court appearance, Kong Hee issued the following statement to the press:
The Prosecution has brought 3 charges against me, which I have carefully considered with my lawyers.
I do maintain my integrity, and will rigorously defend that integrity against these charges.
I have and will continue to place my faith and trust in our judicial system. I will explain the facts and circumstances to the Court, and am confident that I will be vindicated.
Sun and I would like to take this opportunity to thank God for all the people who have blessed us with their love, kindness and prayers during this challenging period of time. We have been tremendously humbled by the support and encouragement from the public, family and friends. We especially thank all those from City Harvest Church and the Christian community at large. They have been a constant source of strength.
I respect the Court proceedings which are underway, and will not make any comment about the charges until the appropriate time and forum.
If found guilty of the charges against him, megachurch pastor Kong Hee could face life imprisonment.