SINGAPORE - Former China tour guide Yang Yin has indicated he will plead guilty to charges relating to immigration offences and the falsification of receipts made to his company.
However, his lawyers and the deputy public prosecutors are disputing some facts of the case. The hearing has been adjourned to Tuesday (May 31) morning for them to iron out the facts.
His criminal case was mentioned on Monday (May 30) before Deputy Presiding Judge of the State Courts S. Jennifer Marie.
Dressed in purple overalls and sporting neatly-trimmed hair, the 42-year-old looked tense when he appeared in court with his hands and legs shackled. He has been in remand since October 2014 after he was denied bail and has been charged with a total of 349 charges.
His most serious offences are two criminal breach of trust charges for allegedly misappropriating $1.1 million from wealthy widow Madam Chung Khin Chun. These charges will be heard in June and July.
Monday's trial involves charges of falsification and immigration-related offences.
Also in court on Monday were Madam Chung, her niece Hedy Mok and her long-time friend, retired teacher Chang Phie Chin.
Madam Chang, who is now 86, had lived with Madam Chung and her husband, Dr Chou Sip King, in their Gerald Cresecent bungalow before moving out in 2011. Dr Chou died in 2007.
Yang, who seemed to have lost weight, looked around the court room and when he spotted Madam Chung, he tried to make eye contact with her.
The case broke when Madam Mok started legal action against Yang for allegedly manipulating the widow to hand over her assets.
Yang first met Madam Chung when he acted as her private guide during a China trip in 2008. Madam Chang had introduced her friend to Yang.
He came to Singapore a year later and moved into the bungalow, subsequently setting up a company and obtaining an Employment Pass to work here.
He was later granted permanent residency and brought his wife and two young children over, with the entire family living in Madam Chung's bungalow.
Timeline of the case
2006: Madam Chang Phie Chin introduces Yang Yin to Madam Chung Khin Chun and her husband, Dr Chou Sip King.
2007: Dr Chou dies.
2008: Yang acts as the private tour guide for Madam Chung and Madam Chang while they are on holiday in Beijing.
Yang keeps in touch with Madam Chung after the trip.
2009: Yang visits Madam Chung and stays in her bungalow. He also sets up his company, Young Music and Dance Studio . In September, Yang fires Madam Chung's driver of 30 years. He obtains an Employment Pass to work in Singapore.
2010: Madam Chung makes a will leaving her assets, including the bungalow, to Yang.
2011: Madam Chang moves out of the Gerald Crescent bungalow. She had lived there since 2004, after Dr Chou's health deteriorated.
Yang becomes a Singapore permanent resident.
2012: Yang is given Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) by Madam Chung, giving him control over her welfare and assets.
2013: His wife Weng Yandan and their two children move in to live in the Gerald Crescent bungalow.
2014: In April, Madam Chung is diagnosed with dementia. The LPA is revoked in November after Madam Chung's niece, Madam Hedy Mok, starts court proceedings against Yang.
Yang is arrested in September and charged in October. He is later denied bail.
2015: Madam Chung's new will is recognised by the Family Justice Courts in April. Her new will leaves most of her assets to charity and nothing for the former tour guide.
2016: The High Court dismisses the appeal made by Yang in April this year regarding the new will. The criminal trials are scheduled to take place from May to July.