City Harvest case: AGC considering possibility of further action, says Shanmugam

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee (right) arriving at the district state court with his wife Ho Yeow Sun in October 2015. (Photo: AFP)

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) is considering whether further steps can be taken on the City Harvest Church fraud case, Law Minister K Shanmugam said, according to media reports.

Speaking to media before a community event on Saturday (8 April 2017), the Minister said the AGC would make a decision on the matter by next week.

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee and five other church leaders lost their appeal against conviction but had their jail terms reduced on Friday (7 April) over an elaborate $50 million financial fraud after exhaustive investigations and legal tussles lasting about seven years. Their jail terms now range from seven months to three and a half years.

Shanmugam said the AGC thought the sentences meted out by a lower court in 2015 had been too low, and therefore appealed against them.  The government agreed with this assessment.  The Minister added that the legal reasoning used by the judges in reducing the sentences could have “serious implications for other cases, including corruption cases”, and he had asked the AGC for advice on the issue.

The Minister said that if the government disagreed with judges on an issue, it could legislate through Parliament if necessary, according to the news reports.

Related stories:
Six City Harvest Church leaders sentenced to jail
Judges: Kong Hee’s criminality ‘the greatest’ among City Harvest Church leaders
City Harvest Church ‘deeply saddened’ by appeal verdict