'Edison Chen Back In Hong Kong, Via Macau, Sunday'

Edison Chen (陳冠希) will travel back to Hong Kong via Macau to avoid a media scrum at Hong Kong airport, reported The Sun, a Hong Kong newspaper, citing rumours. The newspaper said that reporters, photographers and cameramen are gathering at Macau airport causing a nuisance to staff.

Sing Tao Daily, a Hong Kong newspaper, had rumoured that Edison left Hong Kong on 31 January in a car headed for Zhuhai, China, where he crossed the border to Macau to catch a private jet to the United States.

His return journey could be exactly the reverse.

Almost all Hong Kong daily newspapers are reporting that Edison will be back on Sunday. He is expected to hold a press conference after making a witness statement at Hong Kong police HQ about someone stealing photos from his computer.

Some Hong Kong newspapers had reported that Edison had fled the city in shame, when he left Hong Kong after sex photos, purportedly of him and female celebrities including Gillian Chung (鍾欣桐), Bobo Chan (陳文媛) and Cecilia Cheung (張栢芝), allegedly stolen from his Apple PowerBook when it went in for repair, started leaking onto the internet more than two weeks ago.

The star released a video message on 4 January to apologize for the fallout but did not comment on whether or not the photos originated from him.

Anthony Wong (黃秋生), Edison's godfather, said a few days ago that Edison will return to Hong Kong soon to help the police catch the "crazy man" who is leaking the photos. He said that Edison did not run away and had, long before the scandal started, planned to return to Canada to visit family for Chinese New Year and then to go to America to visit girlfriend Vincy Yeung (楊永晴).

Meanwhile, the first person arrested in connection with the photos, 29-year-old Chung Yik Tin (鍾亦天), was freed today. The charges against him were dropped, following the Obscene Articles Tribunal's reclassification of the photos from "obscene" to "indecent". He had been in custody since 30 January.

None of the celebrities purported to appear in the photos have been accused by police of any wrongdoing.

Instead, the police investigation has focused on tracking down people who have leaked or spread the images for breaking obscenity laws. Nine people have been arrested so far. All have been freed or bailed.

A protest march took place in Hong Kong on Sunday to demonstrate against the police action. Police have been widely criticized, both in mainstream media and internet discussion boards, for what is perceived as the special treatment because this case involves celebrities, the invasion of privacy of internet users and the hunt for a scapegoat that has seen several arrests but no end to the constant leak of photos.

Despite the police crackdown, more photos were leaked onto the web on the weekend and yesterday.

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