On 31 January 2008, an unemployed man identified as 29-year-old Chung Yik-tin (???) was arrested for allegedly uploading one image; 12 pictures were found on his computer. The next day he was arraigned but denied bail because he was suspected of blackmailing the actor and actresses. The case would reconvene eight weeks later, and Chung Yik-tin was destined to spend Chinese New Year in detention. After investigating the connection between the suspect and artists, the police were satisfied that blackmail was not involved. Following the furore at the police that the photograph allegedly posted by Chung was later classified as “indecent”, Chung was unconditionally released from detention on 15 February, and charges against him were dropped.
On 2 February, police arrested four men and two women in connection with the distribution of the photographs. Of the six, three men and a woman were released on HK$20,000 bail and ordered to report back to the police in eight weeks. The police revealed that during 2007, Edison Chen brought his computer to a shop for repairs. Employees who discovered over 1,300 intimate photographs may have secretly copied these files.
On 4 February, a 29-year-old man became the eighth person to be detained in connection with the Internet posting of nude photos. On the same day, 23-year-old Sze Ho-Chun (???) was arrested and charged with “dishonest use of computers with criminal intent”, which has a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. The man appeared in Eastern Court on 5 February, where he denied the charge and was released on $50,000 bail. The case was adjourned to 22 February.
Assistant Commissioner Wong said the source of the pictures had been traced, but he would not confirm reports stating that they had been taken from Chen’s computer. He added that the authenticity of the photographs was no longer in question. Wong also said of the six women found in the photographs, four were local celebrities and two were unknown to the police. None of the women were named. Wong was certain that no overseas artists were involved. He said that it was not a crime to transfer the pictures to friends, but those who had posted the images to Internet web pages could be in breach of the Hong Kong law. His statement has prompted some people to solicit for or send the picture files to their “friends” en masse by email.
On 5 February, as another of the suspects was released on $50,000 bail, six more related photographs surfaced on the Internet. In the early hours on Chinese New Year’s Eve, several hundred more photographs appeared on the Internet; there were two new faces.
The police arrested a tenth person in connection with the case on 10 February. Kwok Chun-wai, a 24-year-old logistics clerk, was charged with distribution of pornography. He had allegedly posted the link to a local discussion forum after uploading a compressed file containing over a hundred images to a site in Cyprus. Kwok was released on $10,000 bail and was required to report to the police three times a week. He entered a guilty plea to three counts of publishing an obscene article in July. On 24 July 2008, he was sentenced to two months in prison, suspended for two years.
Computer technician Sze Ho-chun was convicted on 13 May 2009 of three counts of obtaining access to a computer with dishonest intent, and received a custodial sentence of eight and a half months. However, there was no evidence that he uploaded the pictures to the Internet