Hong Kong editor gets suspended jail term for nude kidnap photo

Other News Materials 18 December 2008 06:46 (UTC +04:00)

A Hong Kong magazine editor was given a suspended jail term for publishing a naked photograph of an actress that was taken when she was abducted by gangsters, it was reported Thursday.

At a hearing Wednesday, former chief editor of Eastweek magazine Mong Hong-ming received a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, for publishing obscene material, the Hong Kong Standard reported.

The sentence means Mong will not have to serve six months in prison, unless he re-offends within the next two years, dpa reported.

The picture of Carina Lau, published in Eastweek magazine in 2002, was taken in 1990 when the actress was kidnapped by gangsters, stripped and forced to pose for photographs.

Publication of the topless photo of a blindfolded and clearly distressed Lau on the magazine's cover, owned at the time by businessman Albert Yeung, caused a huge public outcry.

Actors, including action hero Jackie Chan, staged public protests and the magazine was forced to halt publication for a year.

In August, the magazine's current owner - the New Media Group, admitted to distributing obscene articles and was fined 20,000 Hong Kong dollars (2,560 US dollars).

At Wednesday's hearing, Eastern Court magistrate Gary Tallentire said he had taken into account the fact that editor Mong Hon-ming had a clear record and was unlikely to repeat the offence.

Actress Lau, now aged 43, later said the picture was taken against her will when she was bundled into a car and blindfolded by the gangsters while she was a young starlet.

In a recent interview, Lau said the gangsters targeted her because she refused a film role offered to her by their boss. Hong Kong's film industry is notorious for its links with the city's gangs.

Lau has starred in dozens of box office hits in Hong Kong, including the Infernal Affairs series of films.