Celebrity tutor has one charge dropped in exam fiasco

Local | Sophie Hui 23 May 2019

Star tutor Kris Lau Koon-wah had one of his charges dropped yesterday following the catch-all computer charge controversy.

Lau, 43, an English tutor at Modern Education and his former student, Seraph Wong Tsz-hin, 19, were charged with two counts of accessing a computer with dishonest intent and one count of conspiracy for an agent to accept an advantage.

The prosecution told the court that between April 17 and May 13, 2017, Wong - who worked at the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority as a marking assistant - accepted HK$1,000 from Lau as a reward for disclosing confidential information from the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education English Listening and Integrated Skills paper.

However, upon appearing in the West Kowloon Magistrates' Court before magistrate Cheung Kit-yee, the duo were told that their accessing a computer with dishonest intent charges had been dropped.

The charges were dropped because the Court of Final Appeal last month ruled that these offenses should not cover people using their own computers when referring to a case involving primary school teachers leaking school exam papers.

The case has been adjourned until July 3. Wong and Lau have been released on bail.

Last week, another celebrity tutor, Weslie Siao Chi-yung, 42, was originally charged with a count of obtaining access to a computer with dishonest intent, along with his 33-year-old wife Tsai Ying-ying.

Siao was also charged with two counts of conspiracy to obtain access to a computer with dishonest intent along with two other tutors, Cheung Kwok-kuen and Ng Wang-leung, both 43.

But due to the city's highest court setting limits on the use of the computer charge, the prosecution is seeking to amend the charge to two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office against Siao, Cheung and Ng, while Tsai faces one count of misconduct.

The quartet allegedly used smartphones to send and receive questions and confidential information that was in the HKDSE Chinese language exam in 2016 and 2017.

sophie.hui@singtaonewscorp.com

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