Blogger Amos Yee, in another U-turn, pleads guilty to three more charges

Teenage blogger Amos Yee has admitted to three counts of wounding religious feelings.
Teenage blogger Amos Yee has admitted to three counts of wounding religious feelings. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A day after he did a U-turn and pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to show up at a police station, teenage blogger Amos Yee on Wednesday (Aug 24) again threw in the towel and admitted to three counts of wounding religious feelings.

On the fourth day of his trial, Yee, 17, pleaded guilty to making one Facebook post and one blog post, which wounded Muslim feelings. He also admitted to posting one video online, which wounded Christian feelings.

The crimes were committed between November last year and April this year.

In the blog post, dated Dec 17, Yee wrote: "I'm pretty disappointed when Christians and Muslims claim that they are not offended by my comments."

The maximum penalty for each of the three charges is three years' jail and a fine. Principal District Judge Ong Hian Sun will sentence Yee for these crimes at a later date.

Yee's admission of guilt on Wednesday leaves him with three remaining charges, which he is still contesting.

He is alleged to have posted one photo and two videos online, between April and May, with intention of wounding Muslim feelings.

The ongoing trial, heard before District Judge Lim Tse Haw, will enter its fifth day at a later date.

Yee's defence will be called once the prosecution closes its case.

On the first day of the trial last Wednesday (Aug 17), Yee, who does not have a lawyer, had confirmed that he was contesting all his eight charges. But shortly after, he told Judge Lim that he was considering pleading guilty.

After a failed attempt at resolving the case without a trial, the hearing resumed on Thursday (Aug 18), only for Yee to ask, unsuccessfully, for a two-month adjournment.

On the third day of the trial on Tuesday (Aug 23), Yee did a U-turn and decided to plead guilty to two charges.

He failed to show up at Jurong Police Division at 9am on Dec 14, 2015, despite a police officer's notice. He also did not turn up at the same place at 9am on May 10, in spite of a magistrate's order.

The maximum penalty for each of these charges is one month's jail and a $1,500 fine. Judge Ong will also sentence Yee for these crimes at a later date, once the trial for the remaining three charges is over.

Yee first came to the attention of the authorities when he uploaded an expletive-laden video on March 27, 2015, four days after the death of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. Yee later also posted an obscene image on his blog.

He was convicted on May 12, 2015, 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. He had spent about 50 days in prison after repeatedly breaching bail conditions.