Television Broadcasts (TVB)

Acquittal of former TVB manager Stephen Chan overturned on appeal

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 12:26pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 1:48pm

The Court of Appeal on Wednesday has quashed the acquittals of former TVB general manager Stephen Chan Chi-wan and his former assistant on bribery charges.

The court ruled on Wednesday that a District Court judge erred in the application of a law in acquitting Chan and Edthancy Tseng Pei-kun last year.

The case now returns to the District Court, which will reconsider its original verdict. Chan and Tseng were each released on HK$100,000 bail. They must inform the Independent Commission Against Corruption 24 hours before travelling out of Hong Kong.

They will appear in District Court on December 18.

Wednesday’s decision stems from an appeal, by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, against Chan and Tseng’s acquittal earlier this month. In September last year Chan went on trial for being paid HK$112,000 by Olympian City in 2010, behind his employer’s back, to host one performance of the live talk show Be My Guest. The show was staged at the shopping mall and produced and broadcast by TVB.

In the past, Chan had made more than 150 episodes of the show free of charge for the station, but this time he was paid – through a company run by Tseng.

Acting Chief District Judge Poon Siu-tung acquitted Chan, ruling that he appeared on the show as a celebrity or an artist, not as an agent of TVB.

In the appeal argument, Eric Kwok Tung-ming SC, for the graft buster, said Poon erred in law. If Chan’s act of hosting the talk show for a reward was “in relation to [TVB’s] business”, then he should be convicted in accordance with the law, Kwok said.

The case now goes back to the trial judge.