Lawyers want judge who's not Christian for Amos Yee appeal

Amos Yee had been found guilty on May 12 of intending to wound the religious feelings of Christians in a video, as well as of uploading an obscene image onto his blog.
Amos Yee had been found guilty on May 12 of intending to wound the religious feelings of Christians in a video, as well as of uploading an obscene image onto his blog.PHOTO: ST FILE

The lawyers for teenage blogger Amos Yee want his appeal to be heard by a non-Christian judge when it goes before the High Court.

The 16-year-old will be appealing against both his conviction and sentence. His lawyer Alfred Dodwell filed the notice of appeal on July 9, three days after Yee was released from remand.

Yee had been given four weeks' jail on July 6, walking free that day after his sentence was backdated from June 2. He had been on remand for more than 50 days.

He had been found guilty on May 12 of intending to wound the religious feelings of Christians in a video, as well as of uploading an obscene image onto his blog.

His lawyer Ervin Tan said: "We will be asking for the appeal to be fixed before a non-Christian judge in the High Court, given the nature of the charge. This is based on the fundamental principle that justice should manifestly be seen to be done."

The case in the State Courts was heard by a non-Christian judge, District Judge Jasvender Kaur, during the two-day trial in May.

In her judgment, Judge Kaur found Yee had deliberately made "clearly derogatory" comments about Jesus Christ in his YouTube video, which criticised Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and drew comparisons between Christ and Mr Lee.

She said: "By making an analogy between the two different subjects, the accused was pointing to the same alleged denigrating similarities between Mr Lee and his followers, and Jesus and Christians."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2015, with the headline 'Lawyers want judge who's not Christian for Amos Yee appeal'. Print Edition | Subscribe