By Claire Huang | Posted: 08 March 2013 1454 hrs

SINGAPORE: The high-profile trial involving six City Harvest Church leaders is now slated to start on 15 May.

The first tranche of the trial is expected to go on till 23 May.

Speaking after a pre-trial conference on Friday afternoon, the prosecutors and lawyers involved in this case said one of the defendants, Chew Eng Han, will be represented by Senior Counsel Michael Khoo.

This comes after Chew’s application to engage a Queen’s Counsel was dismissed by High Court Judge V K Rajah on Tuesday.

Chew, the church’s investment manager, had said then that he could not find a local senior counsel with the appropriate expertise to assist him, and wanted to enlist the help of a Queen’s Counsel from the United Kingdom.

Chew, together with five other church leaders including founder Kong Hee, is accused of funnelling S$24 million into sham bond investments to further the career of pop singer Sun Ho.

Ms Ho is the wife of the church’s senior pastor, Kong Hee.

The six are alleged to have misappropriated another S$26.6 million to cover up the first sum.

– CNA/xq