SINGAPORE: Former City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han was given an additional jail term of 13 months on Tuesday (Jan 28) for trying to flee Singapore and attempting to defeat justice.
Chew, 58, is currently serving his sentence for his role in the misappropriation of S$50 million of church funds and is almost a year into his sentence.
He had his original six-year jail sentence lowered to three years and four months in a split decision by the High Court in April 2017.
Chew was placed in remand on Feb 22 last year, a day after he was arrested for attempting to flee the country in a sampan.
A crew commander on the Police Coast Guard vessel that intercepted Chew's boat following a tip-off told the court during the trial that Chew looked straight ahead without acknowledging him when the commander shouted at Chew and the boatman.
Chew claimed trial to his new charges and was found guilty in December by District Judge Victor Yeo, who said he was not persuaded by the defence's arguments that Chew was apprehended "too early" and had not yet embarked on a crime proper.
Chew could have been jailed for up to six months and fined up to S$2,000 for trying to leave Singapore illegally.
For attempting to defeat justice, he could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.
Three men who helped him in his attempt to escape Singapore by boat - including the boatman and two Malaysians with roles in the plot - were sentenced to jail last year.