Former TVB chief loses another round in long-running graft saga

September 09, 2015 14:18
Stephen Chan (inset) is facing corruption charges a third time after the government successfully challenged his previous acquittals. The case is being heard by an appeal court. Photos: CNSA, Ming Pao

Former TVB chief Stephen Chan appeared in the High Court on Tuesday to answer corruption charges a third time. 

Chan and his former assistant, Edthancy Tseng Pei-kun, were acquitted in two previous district court trials on charges they accepted HK$110,000 (US$14,191) in kickbacks from contractors in 2009.

Prosecutors accused them of taking the money without the knowledge of their employer.

The two were cleared in 2011 by a district judge who ruled TVB was a party to the payment.

The government appealed the ruling and won a district court retrial in 2014 during which they were again acquitted of all charges.

On Tuesday, the duo appeared before an appeal judge after the government challenged their acquittals, Ming Pao Daily reports.

The Department of Justice is asking the judge to overturn the decision of the district courts.

Barrister Eric Kwok, arguing for the government, said TVB could not have known about the payment after executive director Mark Lee testified that he would not have approved it.

Kwok rejected the defense argument that TVB had not objected to Chan accepting payment from contractors several times in the past.

Chan "sincerely thought" the present instance was no different, defense lawyer Joseph Tse said.  

Kwok said the payment was unrelated to Chan's work at the station but this time it was different because it involved a TVB show.

The judge said Chan "clearly tried to use TVB’s resources" for his benefit.

The case stemmed from TVB's Be My Guest Show which aired a 2009 New Year countdown special from Olympian City mall.

Chan and Tseng were accused of accepting bribes in exchange for production contracts.

They were later arrested by Hong Kong's anti-graft agency on suspicion of corruption.

The hearing continues.

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