October 27, 2015

Govt wins appeal against former TVB chief in bribery case

EJ Insight » Hong KongToday, 10:19

The Court of Appeal has struck down the acquittal of Stephen Chan (inset) and his former assistant Edthancy Tseng. Photos: HKEJ, RTHK

An appeal court has ruled that former TVB general manager Stephen Chan Chi-wan and his former assistant Edthancy Tseng Pei-kun were guilty of taking bribes, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.

On Monday, the court found in favor of the Department of Justice in the government’s second appeal against the pair’s acquittal.

Court of Appeal vice president Wally Yeung Chun-kuen directed the district judge who acquitted Chan and Tseng to sentence them on charges they accepted HK$112,000 (US$14,451) in kickbacks from contractors in 2009 without the knowledge of their employer.

The two men were granted HK$100,000 bail each and told not to leave Hong Kong before a new trial in District Court on Nov. 13.

The appeal court heard that Chan, 56, who is now chief adviser and a talk-show host for Commercial Radio Hong Kong, received payment with Tseng’s help to host his Be My Guest show on TVB during a countdown special at Olympian City shopping mall on Dec. 31, 2009.

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

Both were cleared by a district judge in 2011.

The DOJ appealed in 2012, but the same judge acquitted them again in 2013.

The government immediately filed a second appeal.

Chan’s lawyer argued that TVB had not objected to Chan accepting payment from contractors several times in the past.

But Yeung said in the appeal court’s judgment that Chan’s show aired during the countdown was different, because it clearly involved TVB’s business.

Yeung also said Chan could not use “ignorance or misunderstanding” of the law to try to defend himself.

Chan left the court without saying whether he will appeal.

Commercial Radio said in a statement it believes in Chan’s integrity and he can keep his job as well as take leave any time if needed.

A legal observer said it is likely that Chan will be sentenced to community service or granted probation.

– Contact us at