SINGAPORE - A district court on Thursday (April 5) convicted a serial protester who had repeatedly held solo demonstrations in Raffles Place.
Following a trial that started on Wednesday, District Judge Luke Tan found Yan Jun, 42, guilty of taking part in a public assembly without a permit. He had demonstrated outside Raffles Place MRT station at around noon on Feb 22.
Yan was also convicted of behaving in a disorderly manner by repeatedly shouting at Station Inspector Juherman Zaiton when the police officer approached him that day. The court heard that Yan refused to leave the area when told to do so.
He has a pending charge of refusing to answer questions to a public servant while in the Central Police Division lock-up at around 11am on Feb 26. Yan told Judge Tan that he will not be pleading guilty to this charge.
On Thursday, the Singaporean stood in the dock facing the judge, in contrast to what he did the day before, when he stood with his back towards the judge.
Station Insp Juherman testified that he was with his colleague, Inspector Siaw Kah Swee, when he saw Yan holding a public assembly.
Station Insp Juherman's body camera caught Yan on video holding placards while addressing the lunchtime crowd.
One of them bore a message directed at Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Justice Chao Hick Tin. It stated: "PM Lee and Justice Chao: resign over the Terrex conspiracy!"
In 2016, Hong Kong authorities detained nine Singapore Armed Forces Terrex infantry carriers, claiming the company transporting them did not have the proper paperwork. They were returned in January last year.
Another placard read: "The opposition: Prove yourself."
The video showed Station Insp Juherman asking Yan to leave. The officer also tried to give him a "move-on direction", containing a written warning which said offenders who disobey the law under the Public Order Act can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.
The document also stated that Yan had to leave the area and stay away from it for 24 hours.
He refused to take the document and the policeman was seen placing it at Yan's feet.
Yan was also heard telling the officers: "It's not the first time I protest here. Arrest me."
The officers arrested him after repeated warnings and he was taken to the Police Cantonment Complex. Yan will be back in court on April 11.