Teen blogger Amos Yee pleads guilty to three remaining charges

Amos Yee arriving at the State Courts on Sept 28, 2016.
Amos Yee arriving at the State Courts on Sept 28, 2016.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Teenage blogger Amos Yee has again thrown in the towel and admitted to three remaining counts of wounding religious feelings.

Yee, 17, on Wednesday (Sept 28) pleaded guilty to uploading one photo and two videos online, between April 17 and May 19, with the intention of wounding Muslim feelings.

His admission of guilt marks the end of his trial, which began in August. Yee's defence had yet to be called during the four-day trial.

Yee had originally denied all eight of the charges against him - two of which are for failing to turn up at a police station and six for wounding religious feelings.

However, he did a U-turn and admitted to two of the charges on the third day of the trial.

The next day, he pleaded guilty to another three charges.

The prosecution will argue for an appropriate sentence before Principal District Judge Ong Hian Sun on Thursday (Sept 29).

On the first day of his trial on Aug 17, Yee, who did not have a lawyer then, confirmed that he was contesting all the eight charges. But shortly after, he told the trial judge, District Judge Lim Tse Haw, that he was considering pleading guilty.

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

On the third day of the trial, on Aug 23, Yee 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 two charges is one month's jail and a $1,500 fine.

On the fourth day of the trial, on Aug 24, Yee 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.

These were committed between November last year and April this year.

The maximum penalty for each of the six charges of wounding religious feelings is three years' jail and a fine.

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.