Hong Kong celebrity tutor Weslie Siao granted bail after being charged with leaking exam questions
Siao and his three co-defendants, including his wife Tsai Ying-ying, have to report to a police station every week
An A-list instructor from a Hong Kong tutoring empire will have to report to a police station weekly, as a condition of the bail he was granted by a court on Wednesday after allegedly leaking questions on public university entrance tests.
At the request of the city’s anti-graft agency, West Kowloon Court acting principal magistrate Ada Yim Shun-yee also ordered Weslie Siao Chi-yung, 42, a well-known Chinese language tutor at Modern Education, not to interfere with any prosecution witness. He was granted cash bail of HK$2,000 (US$255).
On Wednesday, Siao made his first court appearance at the pretrial session with his three co-defendants: his wife, Tsai Ying-ying, 33, also a Chinese language tutor at the school; Cheung Kwok-kuen, 43; and Ng Wang-leung, 43. Ng and Cheung are both teachers.
Tsai had been working as an invigilator for the 2017 Chinese language test for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams. Cheung and Ng had worked for the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority as oral examiners for the 2016 and 2017 Chinese language examinations respectively.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has alleged that Siao received confidential questions for the 2016 and 2017 Chinese language examinations via phone messages from Cheung and Tsai, as well as getting confidential information about a briefing session on the 2017 exam from Ng.
Siao’s co-defendants were also granted bail on Wednesday with the same conditions. The four had been summoned to face charges in court two days after the ICAC announced they had been charged with a string of offences relating to accessing computers with dishonest intent.
The defendants were not yet required to make a plea, as their lawyers said they needed more time to advise their clients.
“We were only approached yesterday with more than a thousand pages of documents,” lawyer Veronica Lam Wing-yee, for Siao and Tsai, said.
“There is not enough time to provide professional advice to our clients.”
The magistrate adjourned the case to July 18. The lawyers are expected to tell Yim whether the defendants can take plea on that day.
Siao, in a black polo shirt, ducked into a black seven-seater with his wife after the court proceedings. He did not respond to reporters’ questions.
The celebrity faces two counts of conspiracy to access a computer with dishonest intent – one with Cheung and one with Ng. He faces an extra count without the conspiracy element with his wife Tsai. All the offences allegedly took place between 2016 and 2017.