Investigation into Hong Kong journalist dropped for insufficient evidence of indecent assault

Retired RTHK channel head Cheung Kwai-yeung, 62, was accused of kissing, touching girl, 16, at his home

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 June, 2017, 10:38am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 June, 2017, 9:44pm

A five-month probe into an alleged indecent assault case that involved the arrest of a retired journalist ended because police failed to find enough evidence against him, police said on Thursday.

Cheung Kwai-yeung, 62, former head of Radio Television Hong Kong’s Putonghua channel, was arrested on February 6 after a 16-year-old girl complained that he had indecently assaulted her in his Sai Kung house in late January.

A police spokesman said on Thursday that Cheung had been released unconditionally as the investigation had been completed and not enough evidence was found to raise a charge.

A police source said the girl did not provide further information, so the investigators had to close the case.

Veteran Hong Kong journalist arrested on suspicion of indecent assault of girl, 16

The girl and her parents paid a visit to Cheung at his home on January 30, the third day of the Lunar New Year.

The parents, friends of Cheung’s, left in the evening, but their daughter, who also knew Cheung well, wanted to continue a chat with him. A room was arranged for her to stay the night.

In the small hours of the next day, Cheung was said to have held her in his arms, kissed her and touched her breast in the room. The girl left the house in the morning and complained to her boyfriend, who called police.

In a statement on Thursday, Cheung said he was relieved to have his innocence restored.

He also filed a complaint with the Hong Kong Press Council against Next Media for an “exaggerated and misrepresented” and “unfair” online report on the case.

The voice of Putonghua

Cheung graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1978 and joined RTHK’s news department before joining the Chinese-language daily newspaper Ming Pao in 1981 as a personal assistant to the publication’s founder, prominent martial arts novelist Louis Cha Leung-yung. Cheung was later promoted to deputy editor-in-chief and editorial writer.

He served in the news department of local broadcaster TVB as an editor in the 1980s and returned to RTHK in 1997, heading the broadcaster’s Putonghua channel and its Chinese news department.

Cheung obtained a PhD from the University of Hong Kong in 2000 with a dissertation on the history of Chinese newspapers in the city based on a study of Ming Pao.

He also served as director for the Hong Kong Press Council and vice-chairman of the Hong Kong News Executives’ Association.

The father of two adult sons wrote a column for Ming Pao until late January.