On Wednesday (19 Apr), in the same High Court session with former City Harvest Church finance manager Sharon Tan, former fund manager Chew Eng Han also made a request. He asked to stay his sentence until a Court of Appeal case to clarify the law under which he and five other church leaders were convicted is over.
Chew, who was supposed to start his jail term on 21 April together with the four others CHC leaders – the church founder Kong Hee, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, former CHC finance committee member John Lam and former CHC finance manager Serina Wee – asked the court to defer his sentence.
Chew intends to take his case to the apex court, and told the High Court that he needs ‘time and resources’ to conduct his defence because he is unrepresented.
On 10 April, the prosecution said that he was referring the case to the Court of Appeal to clarify the law, after the High Court reduced all the CHC leaders sentences.
The Court of Appeal’s decision will take at least seven months and Chew asked to start his three-year-and-four-month sentence after that. His request was granted by the High Court on Wednesday.
Together with Kong Hee, Tan Ye Peng, John Lam, Serina Wee and Sharon Tan, Chew Eng Han was convicted in 2015 for misappropriating church funds.
Chew had been sentenced to six years in jail, but the High Court on 7 April reduced the sentence after an appeal, together with the other church leaders, who also had reduced sentences.
Chew and four of the other church leaders except Sharon Tan has asked for their sentences to start after two weeks, and the court has agreed.
Sharon Tan has asked and given a two-month deferment after she cited her family’s plans to relocate to the United States. But on Wednesday, Sharon Tan stated her change of mind and asked to start serving her seven-month jail term with the other leaders, and her request was also granted.