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Court issues arrest warrant for Charles Yeo after he breached conditions for overseas travel on bail

Court issues arrest warrant for Charles Yeo after he breached conditions for overseas travel on bail

Charles Yeo arriving at the State Courts on Jan 19, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: A district court on Wednesday (Aug 3) issued a warrant of arrest for lawyer and former Reform Party chairman Charles Yeo after he breached the conditions for overseas travel while on bail.

Yeo, 31, was charged in January with harassing a police officer and wounding the religious feelings of Christians in some social media posts.

He was also arrested that month for investigations into forgery offences and alleged criminal breach of trust by an attorney, after complaints were lodged against Whitefield Law Corporation. Yeo is a former partner at the law firm.

On Jul 20, the State Courts granted Yeo permission to travel to Vietnam for work between Jul 27 and Jul 30.

But he did not return to Singapore on Jul 30 and did not report to the investigation officer on Aug 1 as he was required to, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) previously said.

In an announcement on Instagram on Jul 30, Yeo said he was seeking "political asylum" in the United Kingdom, after repeated claims in recent months that criminal charges against him have been "politically motivated".

At Wednesday's bail review hearing, a judge revoked Yeo's bail of S$10,000. His mother, who was his bailor, was ordered to appear in court to show cause, or explain why the bail should not be forfeited.

The judge also granted an application by Yeo's defence counsels Mr Ashwin Ganapathy, Mr Azri Imran Tan and Mr Joshua Chow to discharge themselves.

Ms Victoria Tay, who appeared on behalf of the discharged lawyers, said she was instructed to put on record that they were not aware that Yeo was seeking asylum in the UK and would not return to Singapore as expected.

SPF earlier issued a gazette for Yeo's arrest following his abscondment. SPF also said it was working with foreign law enforcement counterparts to trace Yeo's whereabouts.

Yeo was part of the Reform Party team that contested in Ang Mo Kio GRC in the 2020 General Election, against a five-member team led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

He stepped down as chairman of the party following his arrest in January.

The hearing for a review of Yeo's warrant of arrest has been fixed for September.

Source: CNA/dv(ac)

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