CRN has been following the story of Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church in Singapore. Hee, along with five other individuals, has been accused of misusing millions of dollars of church funds to further the singing career of his wife, Ho Yeow Sun.
The Straits Times now reports that the case has been adjourned until 4 October. The newspaper also notes that Hee and the others accused intend to plead not guilty to the charges before them.
Defence lawyers for the six accused, which include the church’s founding pastor and Ho’s husband Kong Hee, met the prosecution in a pre-trial conference behind closed doors on Thursday afternoon.
All six senior church leaders, whose passports have been impounded, are likely to plead not guilty.
Nearly a month after the story first broke, Kong Hee stated the following in his only public statement thus far:
I do maintain my integrity, and will rigorously defend that integrity against these charges. Source
Bail for Kong Hee was doubled from the initial amount of $500,000 to $1 million upon his request for permission to leave the country. His request was granted since he needed to travel for “pastoral purposes.” It appears that at least one of those “pastoral purposes” was an appearance at the Dominion by the Word conference, hosted by Steve Caronna and Living Word Family Church.
Members of City Harvest Church have continued to stand behind their pastor. While a video emerged showing members of the church’s youth singing praises to Kong Hee, it also was reported that some members attempted to raise funds to help pay for the pastor’s legal fees. These attempts were soon thwarted, however, by the Commissioner of Charities office.
If Kong Hee is convicted upon the resumption of the trial in October, he could face life in prison.