Amos Yee trial: Teen blogger remanded for 3 weeks

Amos Yee trial: Teen blogger remanded for 3 weeks

The 16-year-old will be remanded, as a report on whether he is suitable to serve reformative training is being made.

Blogger Amos Yee arriving at State Courts on May 27, with his mother in the background. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Teenage blogger Amos Yee Pang Sang was remanded for three weeks on Tuesday (Jun 2), as a report is made to assess whether he is suitable to serve reformative training.

There is no bail option offered during this remand period. The case is adjourned till Jun 23.

The judge's decision came after Yee rejected the option of probation and a term in the Reformative Training Centre (RTC) as a sentence, sticking to his original plea for a jail term.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hay Hung Chun said the teen's previous actions in re-uploading an image and video pertaining to the latter's charges, and the various postings he made on his Facebook page after he was found guilty of his charges, should be taken in consideration as an indication of his conduct and character.

Defence lawyer Alfred Dodwell cautioned against the RTC sentencing, noting that it was out of proportion to the offence Yee is charged for. "He's quite ready to go in (to jail)," he told the media after the hearing.

Yee was initially due to be sentenced on Tuesday, based on a pre-sentence report for an earlier request by prosecutors to explore the possibility of probation. However, an urgent hearing was convened last Wednesday when the probation officer in charge of Yee told the courts that the accused had rejected the option of probation, and had failed to turn up for meetings.

Prosecutors then made a call for reformative training, which was seen by them as a move that was in line with rehabilitation as opposed to a jail term or fine. Reformative training at the Reformative Training Centre (RTC) is an option for young offenders aged between 16 and 18 years old who are assessed to be unsuitable for probation. Offenders will be detained for a minimum of 18 months in the RTC.

Yee was found guilty of two charges - one for making offensive or wounding remarks against Christianity and another for circulating obscene imagery. A third charge, for the teen blogger's statements to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew in a YouTube video, was withdrawn.

It was made known to prosecutors on May 21 that Yee had republished the offending image and video pertaining to the case. He was asked to take both materials down when he was charged for his offences.

As of 7.45am Tuesday, the image and video pertaining to Yee's two charges is still live on his blog and YouTube channel, respectively. He also uploaded the image to his Facebook page on Tuesday.

Source: CNA/kk