Amos Yee pleads guilty to two charges

He admits failing to report to Jurong Police Division on two occasions

Teenage blogger Amos Yee, who denied six charges of wounding religious feelings - with a photo and five videos posted online - and two of failing to turn up at a police station, has thrown in the towel on the latter counts.

Yesterday, the third day of his trial, the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to failing to show up at Jurong Police Division at 9am on Dec 14, 2015, despite a police officer's notice. He also admitted not turning up at the same place at 9am on May 10, in spite of a magistrate's order.

The maximum penalty for each charge is one month's jail and a $1,500 fine. Principal District Judge Ong Hian Sun will sentence Yee for these offences at a later date, once the trial for the other six charges is over.

Yee received the police notice at his Shunfu Road home on Dec 12, 2015, with his mother present. However, he took a flight to Hong Kong early the next morning.

"While (Yee) was away from Singapore, he made various online postings acknowledging that he had been served the notice," Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Chong said. "He also stated... that he was on the run from police."

Yee returned to Singapore at around 10.45pm on April 20.

On May 3, a magistrate issued a warrant requested by the police, which required Yee to attend an interview at Jurong Police Division at 9am on May 10.

But on May 9, Yee again tried to leave Singapore for Hong Kong. He was stopped at Changi Airport and ordered to surrender his passport. Still, he did not turn up for his police interview the next day.

On May 11, Yee was arrested and then bailed out by his mother.

At the start of his trial last Wednesday, the teen, who has no lawyer, opted to contest all eight charges. But shortly after, he told District Judge Lim Tse Haw he was considering pleading guilty.

After a failed attempt at resolving the case without trial, the hearing resumed on Thursday, only for Yee to ask - unsuccessfully - for a two-month adjournment.

An investigator who interviewed Yee after his arrest testified yesterday. She had asked Yee 57 questions about his allegedly offensive posts, but he remained silent.

If guilty of deliberately wounding the religious feelings of any person, Yee faces three years' jail and a fine. The trial continues.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline 'Amos Yee pleads guilty to two charges'. Print Edition | Subscribe