Internet auctions of nude photographs purportedly of Hong Kong celebrities have appeared on mainland websites.
News of the auctions came as hundreds of web surfers took part in a march to police headquarters in Wan Chai yesterday protesting against what they called the selective enforcement of the law and double standards by the police in handling the case.
And Hong Kong's new coadjutor bishop John Tong - citing the Ten Commandments - urged the public not to forward or upload the nude pictures.
One of the artistes involved in the saga, Gillian Chung Yan-tung of pop duo Twins, is today expected to make her first public appearance since the scandal surfaced late last month.
Chung is expected to meet members of her fan club at a restaurant in Wan Chai for an hour this afternoon after which she will meet the press for 10 minutes. She will not take questions.
Users of website taobao.com claim to have downloaded all the pictures that have surfaced to date and are selling them for a "buy?right?now" fixed price of 10 yuan (HK$10.50) each.
Lawyer Wong Kwok-tung said this would constitute "receiving stolen goods" in law as the auctioneer or seller does not have the consent of the copyright holder to auction the pictures.
"But it would be impossible for the Hong Kong police force to take action since the transactions are being carried out in the mainland, which is another jurisdiction," he said.
At least three buyers have successfully completed the transaction, according to the website.
Meanwhile, Michael Tsui Kit-sang, one of the organizers of the 2.10 Internet Users March, said he was satisfied with the turnout of 400 though police put the figure at 230.
Tsui accused police of arresting people in order to prove they had "done something."
He said: "If you arrest [anyone], please arrest the source [of the photos], not the second or third source, [the action] seems to be pinpointing the poor people."
Reading aloud the petition to Police Commissioner Tang King-shing, Tsui urged the police to apologize publicly, release Chung Yik-tin, the 29-year-old who has been remanded in custody for eight weeks, and to stop what it called an abuse of power.
Tsui also said comments from Tang and Assistant Police Commissioner (Crime) Vincent Wong Fook-chuen exceeded law enforcement power and damaged the rule of law in Hong Kong.
In response, a police spokesman said it respected the right of the public to take part in peaceful and legal rallies.
"The case itself is under the investigation of the Commercial Crime Bureau and we will not further comment on the issue, the spokesman said.
The march, which included members of the League of Social Democrats, began from Victoria Park at 1.25pm yesterday.
The group stopped by a shop on Hennessy Road, which was showing Edison Chen Koon-hei's apology video clip, and asked police to open up a traffic lane for them to continue the march. This was done.
Over the past two weeks, as many as 400 nude photos, or about 30 percent of the 1,300 police say they have uncovered, have emerged on internet forums, even after police claimed to have arrested "the source of the leaks" on February 4.
As many as 400 new photos were reported to have surfaced online yesterday with network users sending them via peer-to-peer software, e-mails and websites.