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Last Updated: Friday, 23 April, 2004, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Priest jailed for embezzling $3m
Father Kang  (far right) arriving at court with his lawyers
Father Kang bought presents for two women
A court in Singapore has sentenced a Catholic priest to seven years in prison for embezzling about $3m of church funds.

Father Joachim Kang, 55, had pleaded guilty to a "blatant and persistent misuse of parish funds".

He admitted using the money to buy property and computer equipment for two women he said were his god-daughters.

The judge rejected appeals for clemency from the priest's supporters, including Singapore's Archbishop, Nicholas Chia.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur said Kang had shown no remorse for his actions and did not deserve any sympathy.

Changed plea

The court heard that Kang had transferred more than 5m Singaporean dollars from funds allocated for St Teresa's District Church during the period 1994 to 2002.

It was used to buy houses in Singapore and Malaysia, along with the computer equipment, for the two women.

Archbishop Chia had earlier told the trial that he did not believe Kang's dealings with the women were "consistent" or "consonant" with a god-father, god-daughter relationship.

Father Kang originally claimed he was not guilty of embezzlement, but changed his plea after prosecutors dropped calls for him to be jailed for the maximum term of 14 years.

The priest has promised to return the money to the church by selling the properties.

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