From villain to star witness, Edison Chen Koon-hei's evidence is so valuable that Hong Kong taxpayers are forking out to fly a magistrate, lawyers and several others - believed to include some in the entertainment business - to Vancouver to hear it.
Chen is expected to testify in camera, or in private, under SAR law in British Columbia Supreme Court, starting today, in a case involving the unauthorized uploading of sexually explicit photos on the internet.
Chen, 28, refused to return to Hong Kong to testify, citing danger to his personal safety. The photos allegedly uploaded by a computer technician and widely published, showed Chen in sex acts with various female celebrities.
His testimony is expected to take three to five days in his Vancouver hometown. Chen reportedly checked into the River Rock Casino Resort, in the suburb of Richmond, to prepare for the hearing, but managed to avoid Hong Kong reporters staking out the hotel lobby.