Man behind Hong Kong sex photos scandal faces jail term

Hong Kong sex photos scandal pop star to testify in Canadian courtHong Kong - A computer technician was facing jail after being convicted Wednesday of stealing photos of a Hong Kong pop star having sex with starlets that would be seen by millions of people. Sze Ho-chun, 24, downloaded explicit images from the laptop computer of the singer-actor Edison Chen that showed Chen engaging in sex acts with a number of women, a Hong Kong court found.

He now faces a jail term of up to five years over the distribution of the photographs, which were seen by millions of internet users in China and around the world in early

The 1,300 pictures showed stars, including singer Gillian Chung and actress Cecilia Cheung, naked with Chen, creating a scandal that tarnished the squeaky clean image of Hong Kong's Canto-pop stars.

Chen, 28, issued a public apology, fled Hong Kong for Canada and announced his temporary retirement from show business.

At a hearing Wednesday in Hong Kong's Kowloon City Court, Sze was convicted of three counts of obtaining access to a computer with dishonest intent. He had denied all charges.

Magistrate Tong Man told Sze he had been "irresponsible and dishonest" and stole the images knowing he had no right to them.

Remanding Sze into custody until his May 13 sentencing, Tong warned Sze that a jail sentence was "inevitable." Background reports and detention centre reports are to be prepared before the hearing next month.

The five-day trial this month included evidence from Chen, which was given in a court in Vancouver when he refused to return to Hong Kong for the trial.

Prosecutors said Chen was a regular customer of Sze at the computer shop where he worked and alleged that Sze passed the photographs to another person who uploaded them onto the internet.

Sze was found to have downloaded the images after the laptop was taken to the shop where he worked for repairs. The pictures had been taken around two years before the laptop was taken in by Chen.

The distribution of the explicit photographs had a huge impact on the careers and personal lives of the women featured in them, who later hit out at Chen for failing to apologize to them.

Chen earlier this year received a warning letter containing a bullet telling him to keep out of the public eye after he made his first public appearance since the scandal.(dpa)