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Teen Blogger Amos Yee To Claim Trial To Eight Charges

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SINGAPORE: Teen blogger Amos Yee was back in court on Thursday (May 26), a year after he made the news for uploading an obscene image on his blog and for making remarks to hurt the feelings of Christians in a YouTube video.

This time, the 17-year-old faces six charges of intending to wound the feelings of Muslims and Christians, and two counts of failing to report to Jurong Police Division for investigations. The alleged offences were committed between November last year and earlier this month.

Yee, who did not have a lawyer, told District Judge Ronald Gwee that he intends to claim trial to all the charges.

A pre-trial conference has been fixed for next Monday.

Yee, who spotted shoulder-length hair and was dressed in a khaki T-shirt and white trousers, was accompanied in court by his mother Mary Toh and Reform Party Secretary-General Kenneth Jeyaretnam.

He is out on $5,000 (RM14,816) bail.

After reports were lodged with police over online remarks he made last year, the police allegedly issued a notice in December ordering Yee to report for investigations at Jurong Police Division.

But Yee allegedly failed to do so. He left the country shortly after and remained overseas until last month.

When he returned, he was allegedly served with a Magistrate’s order to report again at the police station, but did not comply.

He was arrested two weeks ago and bailed out of police custody by his mother the same day.

The maximum punishment for deliberately wounding the religious or racial feelings of any person is 3 years’ jail and a fine.

The maximum punishment for failing to present oneself at a certain time and place pursuant to a notice or order from a public servant is one months’ jail and a $1,500 fine.

Yee first came to the attention of the authorities when he uploaded an expletive-laden video on March 27 last year, four days after the death of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. He later also posted an obscene image on his blog.

He was convicted on May 12 last year and sentenced on July 6 to four weeks’ jail. He was released the same day as the punishment was backdated to include his time in remand, as he had spent about 50 days in Changi Prison after repeatedly breaching bail conditions. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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