RTHK staff regularly used a claim form intended to cover freelance work when submitting claims for a range of other expenses, the District Court was told yesterday. Barrister Caesar Lo Chi-lam, for radio producer Chan King-chong, said assistant director of broadcasting Cheung Man-sun had submitted the freelance form to claim for buying refreshments. Chan, 40, has been charged with fraud over HK$93,900 in false claims for freelance work. Chan, who is on leave, denies 10 counts of using documents with intent to deceive and two counts of conspiracy to defraud from 2000 to February 2002. He is accused of claiming scriptwriting and research fees by falsely stating that his mother provided the services. When he was arrested in January last year, Chan allegedly told anti-graft officials that in the course of producing a daily radio show he had incurred various expenses, such as taxi fares, newspapers and refreshments for programme guests. The prosecution said Chan made false claims to cover these expenses. Mr Lo argued yesterday that RTHK staff had often used the form meant for freelance work when claiming expenses for various purposes, and it was not limited to freelance work. Presenting a pile of claim forms to the court, the barrister alleged that Mr Cheung, when he was head of RTHK's Chinese programme service, had submitted the same freelance form to claim refreshment expenses. He said Clarence Yang Kut-si, incumbent head of Radio 2, and presenter Au Yeung Tak-fun had also used the form to claim expenses incurred in printing their name cards. Mr Lo said there was also a claim for the purchase of sound equipment with the form, but the amount on the form did not match that shown on the invoice. He told the court that Chan had taken the claim forms from RTHK to show that it was a common practice over the years for the freelance form to be used to make various claims. 'People made use of [the form] to make various claims, including travel expenses, refreshments for guests, newspapers, printing of name cards, and buying sound equipment,' Mr Lo said, suggesting that 'this practice had been going on for a long time'. But deputy director of broadcasting Tai Keen-man said he was unaware of such a 'common practice'. He added that there were 'normal procedures' for claiming many of these expenses. But the lawyer argued that normal procedures had not been followed by RTHK staff, suggesting that Mr Tai should have been aware of what was going on. Mr Tai said he was unable to tell whether payments had been made for the claims presented to court by Mr Lo because some of the documents had no authorising signature. The hearing continues today before Judge Joseph Yau Chi-lap.