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H.K. pop singer Nic Tse in court over car crash cover-up.

HONG KONG, June 7 Kyodo

Hong Kong pop singer Nicholas Tse appeared in a magistrate's court Friday for allegedly conspiring with three men, including a policeman, to cover up that he was the driver of a Ferrari that crashed in March.

Tse, 21, faces a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice.

The Canto-pop idol was mobbed by more than 100 press photographers, cameramen and fans as he arrived at the court building, accompanied by his father Patrick Tse, a 1960s film star.

In the chaos, the singer suffered a minor head injury after being knocked over.

Tse's lawyer asked the magistrate if the court would consider hearing the case in another venue for better security.

But the magistrate turned down the request, saying the court had dealt with a number of sensitive cases in the past and that no special treatment had been given.

The court did not take a plea from Tse on Friday and adjourned the case to June 17. Tse was released on bail.

He was charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Thursday for conspiring to pervert the course of public justice by allowing Shing Kwok-ting, a chauffeur with Tse's record company, to falsely present himself as the driver of Tse's Ferrari F360 Modena in the police investigation of the accident.

The ICAC alleged that Tse was the driver at the time.

The car crashed on Cotton Tree Drive, near the government offices, in the downtown Central district in the early morning of March 23. Nobody was injured.

Shing, 34, was sentenced to four months in jail last month after pleading guilty to perverting justice in the cover-up.

Born in Hong Kong and later migrating to Canada with his parents and sister, Tse began performing at the age of 16.

Since releasing his first record, ''My Attitude,'' in 1997, he has become an idol among teenagers in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia with his music and movies.

Last year, he performed concerts in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, China and Taiwan.

Tse, a singer with Emperor Entertainment Group Ltd., is the former boyfriend of Chinese pop diva Faye Wong, who is well known in Asia including Japan.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Jun 10, 2002
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