The head of RTHK's classical music channel Radio 4 told a court yesterday he was ashamed when he realised after his arrest that it was improper and illegal to inflate two production assistants' salaries by falsifying freelance payments. Richard Tsang Yip-fat told Kowloon City Court that when he took up the position in September 1998, he was told by colleagues it was a 'conventional practice' to give pay rises to employees by way of freelance payments made to their relatives. Tsang said he agreed to give production assistants Chan Yim-hing and Chow Wai-leung five per cent pay rises because of an increased workload at the channel since a revamp in 1999. He learned from his superior that it was difficult for production assistants to have formal salary increases under contract restrictions. Tsang had consulted with his superior, Jagjit Dillon, the head of English Programme Services at RTHK, and he had agreed with the payment method, he said. 'All along, I had no intention to pocket the money. I also felt very ashamed that I did not look at the procedure clearly,' Tsang said. Tsang, 50, denies two counts of misconduct in public office. He is accused of having arranged pay rises for Ms Chan and Mr Chow by processing freelance payments in the names of relatives of the two employees. Ms Chan received an extra $4,320 between March and August 1999, while Mr Chow was given $12,320 between March 1999 and December 2000. The pair were contract staff whose terms were renewed in 1999 without any pay rises. Magistrate Albert Wong Sung-hau will hear final submissions on Monday.