John Lam was no 'inside man'
He was found by the court to be the inside man to smooth the way for the multi-million dollar misdeeds.
But former investment committee member John Lam was nothing more than a volunteer of a church who barely knew anything, said his lawyer, Senior Counsel Kenneth Tan, yesterday.
Lam, 48, who was convicted of three charges for conspiring to commit criminal breach of trust and sentenced to three years' jail, was the first to have his appeal heard yesterday.
Mr Tan argued that Lam did not know the funds from the Xtron and Firna bonds were controlled by City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee and that the bond's repayment was controlled by Kong and three of the other co-accused.
"If he was really an inside man he would surely have been copied in many more (e-mails) and must know the plot," said Mr Tan.
In 2007, Lam, who was then chairing the investment committee, disclosed the full facts and nature of the Xtron bonds to his committee - something "no inside man" would do, added Mr Tan.
Mr Tan also said that his client was only asked to help out whenever it came to accounting issues of impairment.
Referring to Lam's sentence of three years - the second lowest of the six - Mr Tan said it clearly reflected his client's limited involvement.
"His involvement is so little, you shouldn't give him a consolation prize of three years' jail. He should be discharged," he said.