A computer technician pleaded not guilty in a Hong Kong court yesterday to illegally copying and distributing more than 1,000 photos of a Hong Kong actor having sex with a string of starlets.
Sze Ho-chun (史可雋), an employee of computer shop Elite Multimedia, saw the images on Edison Chen’s (陳冠希) laptop when the Canadian-born singer-actor brought it in for repair work in 2006, prosecutor Hayson Tse told the Kowloon City Magistracy.
Sze then copied the images to a computer server that was connected to the Internet, Tse said.
At the start of his 10-day trial, Sze pleaded not guilty to three counts of obtaining access to a computer with a view to dishonest gain for himself or another.
The prosecution said that Sze saved 1,300 sex photos of Chen and other local celebrities on a compact disc and passed the disc to another of his customers. He also told the customer how to access the images on the Internet.
The 24-year-old Sze allegedly sparked one of the city’s biggest sex scandals when the photos, which Chen has admitted taking himself, were plastered across the Internet for weeks in February last year. The incident caused a storm in the celebrity-obsessed city and sent Chen fleeing to his childhood home of Canada.
On Sunday, Chen braved a death threat to appear in public in Singapore with an entourage of security guards to promote his movie The Sniper.
His appearance came less than a month after a Hong Kong TV station received an anonymous letter sent with a gold bullet, warning Chen to stay away from public events if he valued his life.
Hong Kong triads, apparently angered by the scandal’s damage to the city’s entertainment industry, have allegedly offered a US$110,000 reward for the star’s right hand, local media reported.