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I am a Practitioner of 'The 7e Way of Leaders' where a Leader will Envision, Enable (ASK for TOP D), Empower, Execute, Energize, and Evolve grounded on ETHICS!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Daily Lessons from Life 27 November 2015 - It ain't over yet CHC!!??

"City Harvest trial: Prosecution appeals against 'manifestly inadequate' sentences - The Straits Times 27 November 2015

SINGAPORE - The prosecution has filed notices of appeal against the sentences given to the six City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders on Friday (Nov 27), noting that they were "manifestly inadequate".

"Having carefully considered the written grounds, the Prosecution is of the view that the sentences imposed are manifestly inadequate, in all the circumstances of the case," the Attorney General's Chambers said in a media statement released on Friday morning (Nov 27).

CHC founder and senior pastor Kong Hee and five other church leaders were found guilty and convicted of criminal breach of trust and falsification of accounts on Oct 21.

Last Friday (Nov 20), the six were given jail sentences ranging from eight years to 21 months. The written grounds for the judgment were released on Nov 23.

The prosecution had earlier asked for much harsher sentences ranging from five to 12 years.

Making it clear that Kong was the mastermind behind the conspiracy to cause wrongful loss to the church and defraud auditors, the judge had sentenced him to eight years in jail.

Former board member Chew Eng Han was given six years' jail; deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng faces a 5-and-a-half-year term in prison, while the church's former finance manager Serina Wee was handed a five-year jail term. John Lam, former secretary of the church's management board, was given three years' jail. Sharon Tan, former finance manager, was sentenced to 21 months in jail.

Meanwhile Tan Ye Peng's lawyer N. Sreenivasan told The Straits Times his client has decided to appeal.

Chew, who said he "didn't agree with the conviction and the sentence", would be appealing as well.

On Friday evening, Kong said in a Facebook post that he was going to appeal the conviction and sentence."

This is getting INTERESTING!! Kong Hee is appealing. Tan Ye Peng is appealing. So, is Chew Eng Han. That leaves 3 more to decide if they will appeal or not.

Lessons for me are:

1. it is SIGNIFICANT that the AG's Chamber is APPELAING against the 'MANIFESTLY INADEUATE' sentences. It shows that the authority is deadly serious about people hijacking religion and charitable causes to commit frauds and breach of public trust. This is a GOOD development. That will put any copy-cats and 'let-me-try-my-luck' folks on notice. If you commit crime and frauds with your eyes opened wide, be prepared for the consequences;

2. That Kong Hee decided to appeal after supposedly CAREFULLY considered the written judgements, etc. shows that he STILL feel that he has been unjustly punished. That he has DONE no wrong though he 'respect' the judgement of the courts. Well, his more than 10k followers will attest to it that it is NONE of the state's business to interfere with CHC's internal financial matters. The money were donated to CHC. Whether for the Church Building Fund or not is irrelevant and immaterial! The Leader of the CHC has every right to decide how to use the money. Even if it is to put Ms Sun Ho in expensive Les Vegas rented housing, making 'interesting music videos', and what-have-you!;

3. as for the 'supporting cast' and, unfortunately, the 'traitor' Mr Chew, that the 2 senior ones already filed their appeals showed that the other 3 are unsure. Honestly, they may as well go ahead with the appeal. Otherwise, it shows crack in adversity. No?

For the curious, the question is still: who is going to FOOT all these appeal costs? are we making another millionaire lawyer from JUST this ONE CASE?

Fight it out for all you likes the lawyers will say, just keep the money coming....

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