The appeal court rejected former TVB general manager Stephen Chan Chi-wan’s request for the suspension of execution of a court judgment on Monday. Chan had earlier been found guilty of bribery.

In court, Chan’s defence lawyer said that they wished to delay the time of the execution until a decision had been made by the Court of Final Appeal, so that it would be easier for them to initiate appeal proceedings. The second defendant in the case, Edthancy Tseng Pei-kun, wrote to the court earlier and said that he would not be taking part in this application for stay of execution, Commercial Radio reported.

Stephen Chan. File Photo: Stand News.

Chan’s lawyer said that since the appeal court has already given directions to the trial judge to convict the defendant, it would also have the power to amend such directions. Procedurally, the defendant had not been officially convicted yet, so amendments were still possible, he argued.

The Department of Justice said that the appeal court should not make exceptions because of the defendant’s background, and if different procedures were applied to him, it would serve as a bad precedent.

The presiding judge, Wally Yeung Chun-kuen, said that Chan had no reasonable grounds to support his application and that he should not have made it at all. The judge also said that the purpose of remitting the case instead of directly sentencing the defendant was to give him an opportunity to appeal the sentence. The application was rejected and the trial court will hand out the verdict and sentence on December 18.

Photo: HKFP.

The Court of Appeal found Chan and his assistant Edthancy Tseng Pei-kun guilty of conspiracy to accept an advantage as an agent in October, after a successful second appeal by the Department of Justice (DoJ). Mr Justice Yeung had said that the trial judge had erred in his ruling and that there was no factual or legal basis to show that the defendants had a reasonable excuse for their actions.

The pair were charged with corruption and fraud after receiving HK$112,000 for a 2009 event at the Olympian City shopping mall in Tai Kok Tsui—a payment which Chan failed to disclose to his then employer, TVB. District Court Judge Poon Siu-tung handed down a “not guilty” verdict on the pair in 2011.

The DoJ subsequently appealed the verdict, saying that Poon had failed to show sufficient grounds for acquitting them. The case was sent back to Poon for reconsideration in 2013, but he stood by his original verdict. The DoJ then appealed again.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.