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Chen speaks out in sex-pix case

HONG Kong singer and actor Edison Chen testified in a Canadian court on Monday against the person who allegedly gained access to his computer and released hundreds of raunchy pictures that showed him in bed with several female entertainment stars.

The 28-year-old celebrity appeared in a Vancouver courtroom to give a statement in the trial of Ho Chun Sze, a former employee of a Hong Kong computer store where Chen sent his laptop for repair in 2006.

Sze faces three counts of obtaining access to a computer with illegal intent and will stand trial in Hong Kong.

The Vancouver-born star refused to return to the special administrative region, saying he fears assassination because of a scandal that has shocked Chinese communities around the world, according to China News Service. Chen agreed to make a deposition in Vancouver under a mutual legal assistance treaty between Canada and Hong Kong.

The statement will be used as evidence when Sze's trial begins on April 4.

Hong Kong Chief Magistrate Tong Man flew to Canada to hear the evidence.

Chen submitted a laptop to the court along with all the copies of the pictures he took from 2001 to 2006.

He described himself in court as "a quite private person" and said the pictures were never meant for anyone else to see, and only those in the photos had viewed them before they became public.

"It was more of an attack, a well-planned attack in the way these images were released," he said. The number of sex pictures appearing online sharply rose from just two on the first day to 100 pictures two days later.

Some of the pages hosting the photos received more than 25 million hits, and the feeding frenzy crashed the Web in Hong Kong.

Chen, who left show business after the scandal, confirmed that the four female celebrities in his pictures were actress Cecilia Cheung, actor-singer Gillian Chung, former actress Bobo Chan and model-actress Rachel Ngan.

But he refused to answer any questions about the women in court, saying they had already suffered enough.

Gillian Chung, previously known for her squeaky-clean image in the popular female singing duo Twins, fell into obscurity after the scandal.

The pictures, which Chen said were all taken "with consent," surfaced on the Internet in January last year after Chen's laptop was sent for repairs in the summer of 2006.

Chen said he was shocked to discover the exposure as he thought he had deleted the images before the repairs.

"That strongly led me to believe there was some foul play in this computer store," he said.

Chen, a pop singer and star of a popular series of Hong Kong films, apologized last year for the scandal and then returned to his childhood home in British Columbia. He played the lead role in the first two episodes of the trilogy "Infernal Affairs."

The film was later adapted by Hollywood director Martin Scorsese as "The Departed."


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