The rift between media veteran Albert Cheng King-hon's radio station Digital Broadcasting Corporation (DBC) and its major shareholder Bill Wong Cho-bau has widened after Wong filed a High Court writ against the company, of which he is chairman.
A furious Cheng said on air last night that the row had caused some staff salaries to go unpaid, and called on shareholders to sign documents enabling funds to be released to employees.
The writ, which concerns DBC's book-keeping, is scheduled for a 30-minute hearing on September 10. Wong will be represented by law firm DLA Piper Hong Kong.
DBC used its Facebook page to announce yesterday that it had received a summons from Wong on Tuesday night, together with a pile of legal documents "three to four inches thick".
A DBC spokesman said: "Despite the resignation of our chief financial officer and manpower shortage, we have been respecting shareholders' and directors' rights and tried our best to co-operate with Wong's checking of DBC's accounts, as well as responding to his lawyers.
"We planned to discuss the matter in [Thursday's] board meeting, but it failed to satisfy Wong's short-term requirements about account checks."
The row broke out after major shareholders including Wong refused to put in any more money, which Cheng said was a political move to silence the station.
Last night Cheng said the matter had made some shareholders reluctant to sign documents needed to pay employees.
"Please do not be mischievous … you guys altogether have estates amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars, but we are poor people," Cheng said. "If this goes on I can only hand out thousand-dollar notes to my staff members."
He added that Wong's lawyers and accountants had asked 120 questions about details such as programme hosts' salaries and the cost of each episode.
On the same programme, host and former legislator Andrew Cheng Kar-foo said DBC's lawyers were being assisted by a senior counsel.
A candle-light vigil will take place at 8pm tomorrow outside the old Legislative Council building in Central to campaign for support for the station.