SINGAPORE — Sharon Tan, one of the City Harvest Church leaders on trial, will still have to defend her case in court.
This follows the State Court’s dismissal of an application made by her lawyer, Mr Kannan Ramesh, to refer two questions of law to the High Court.
The application was in relation to three counts of criminal breach of trust, in which Tan is accused of engaging in a conspiracy with other church leaders, Tan Ye Peng, Chew Eng Han and Serina Wee, to misappropriate church funds amounting to around S$26 million.
One of the questions Mr Ramesh raised was whether, under the law, Tan Ye Peng could be considered to have control of the church’s funds just because he was a church board member, when the board had collective control of the funds.
In their submission, the prosecution pointed out that the legal position on the issue is well established and settled.
They indicated that while parties may have divergent views on definitions and interpretations, this cannot be the grounds for stating a case to the High Court.
They said this would lead to the “absurd result” where any and all disputed questions of law are referred to the High Court in the first instance.
The trial against six church leaders for misuse of church funds is scheduled to resume on July 14.