Clerk who posted sex pictures alters plea
A clerk changed his plea yesterday and admitted publishing 84 pictures of female stars in sex acts with entertainer Edison Chen Koon-hei by posting hyperlinks to them.
He was warned he would probably go to jail.
Kwok Chun-wai, 24, is one of three people charged in relation to the celebrity nude pictures scandal that gripped the city early this year.
With the support of his parents and friends, Kwok appeared calm when he pleaded guilty in Kowloon City Court to three counts of publishing an obscene article by posting the internet links on January 29 and February 6.
He originally denied the charges in another court on June 3.
Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma Hon-cheung said he would likely impose a jail sentence, noting the offences were serious and had occurred on several occasions.
They can attract a maximum fine of HK$1 million and up to three years' jail. Kwok was remanded to July 24 for sentencing, pending a background report.
The court was told Kwok had first downloaded the celebrity sex pictures from the internet and saved them to a file storage server, http://w13.easy-share.com, and later posted 25 hyperlinks on the Hong Kong-based adult discussion forum http://new-3lunch.net to direct Net users to the site and allow them to download the images.
Prosecutor Hayson Tse Ka-sze said that of all the posted hyperlinks, police found that only five led to celebrity sex pictures, Of the pictures, 84 ruled obscene by the Obscene Articles Tribunal on April 23 were cited in the charges. Some of the images showed oral sex.
Police arrested Kwok on February 10 at his Ngau Tau Kok home.
Barrister Ody Lai said her client had not realised the seriousness of his actions. What had motivated his offence was the community interest that had already been sparked [many similar pictures had already been posted on the internet] and a statement relating to them published in a Chinese newspaper by the Emperor Entertainment Group on January 28.
The group claimed the pictures were fake, the court heard.
The court was told Kwok was a hard-working employee with a good work record who had started a logistics degree at Caritas Francis Hsu College in January.
He was very remorseful over what he had done, Ms Lai said.
The celebrity sex photos sparked a huge controversy in February when hundreds of explicit pictures of Edison Chen and female celebrities were distributed by e-mail and messaging systems.
The photographs were of Chen with purportedly Canto-pop star Gillian Chung Yan-tung, actress Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi, former actress Bobo Chan Man-woon, model-actress Rachel Ngan Wing-sze, former singer Candice Chan Si-wai, 2001 Miss Chinese International contestant Mandy Chen Yu-ju and Vincy Yeung Wing-ching, niece of entertainment tycoon Albert Yeung Sau-shing.
Gillian Chung and Edison Chen have since made public apologies in relation to the pictures.
Chen is expected to return to the city in October for the trial of the remaining two people charged over the incident.
The first man arrested in relation to the scandal, Chung Yik-tin, was freed on February 15 after charges against him were withdrawn.