HONG KONG, July 15 (Reuters) - Online game developer Boyaa Interactive International Ltd said its chairman has become a co-defendant in a bribery probe involving its indirect Chinese subsidiary in Shenzhen, after being under investigation for more than a year.
The company, with a market capitalisation of HK$2.6 billion ($333.2 million), first announced last May that its chairman has been detained and was being investigated by judicial authorities in China, although details of the probe were not known.
Boyaa said in a statement late on Friday the subsidiary had received an indictment from the judicial authority as a defendant due to its alleged act of bribery, while chairman Zhang Wei, as the legal representative of the Shenzhen subsidiary, has become a co-defendant of the case.
The company said the case would not cause any adverse impact to its business, operations and financial status. It was well prepared to ensure that the normal operations of the group would not be affected, regardless of any possible outcome.
The company, citing its lawyer, said Boyaa Shenzhen would plead not guilty and "the prosecution evidence is insufficient to support a conviction". If convicted, however, the maximum penalty on the legal representative is up to five years imprisonment, it said.
The case is expected to be heard within the next three months. ($1 = 7.8033 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)