Man pleads not guilty to stealing Edison sex pics

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The Hong Kong computer technician accused of stealing 1,300 photos of actor Edison Chen engaged in sex acts with a number of starlets, has pleaded not guilty in a Hong Kong court, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Hong Kong singer and actor Edison Chen reacts during a news conference in Hong Kong February 21, 2008. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Sze Ho-chun, 24, who worked in a computer store in Hong Kong’s Central district, discovered and copied the images from Chen’s Apple laptop computer that was taken in for servicing in 2006, prosecutor Hayson Tse told a district court in Hong Kong, according to the Standard newspaper.

Tse told the court that Sze then copied the explicit images of Chen engaged in sex acts with several starlets and uploaded them to a computer server connected to the Internet.

Chen has admitted he took the photos of the starlets, including included actress Cecilia Cheung, Bobo Chan and Cantopop star Gillian Chung from the pop duo Twins.

It was a year-and-a-half later however, before the first pictures hit the Internet and unleashed the media scandal which hurt the showbiz careers of the starlets and tarnished their squeaky-clean reputations.

“Sze saved the sex photos on a compact disc and passed the disc to another of his customers. He also told the customer how to access the images on the Internet,” the paper reported.

Pictures showed Sze facing a media barrage at the trial, wearing a white surgical mask, dark glasses and a hooded jacket.

The Hong Kong Standard newspaper said Sze pleaded not guilty to three counts of “obtaining access to a computer with a view to making a dishonest gain” at the start of his 10-day trial.

The Canada-born Chen, a hip hop artist and Asian film star who has appeared in films such as “Infernal Affairs,” the Hong Kong triad film which inspired Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning “The Departed,” has apologized publicly for the scandal and sought to weather the media storm by staying in Canada.

While Chen has reportedly faced death threats, he made an appearance in Singapore last weekend to promote his film “The Sniper” accompanied by an entourage of security guards.

Reporting by James Pomfret; Editing by David Fox