YouTuber Amos Yee will spend at least one night in remand, after his parents refused to post bail for him.
Yee, who was charged on Mar 31 after posting a video which contained disparaging remarks against Christians, faced new conditions for bail after his pre-trial conference on Friday (Apr 17). Yee arrived at the State Courts at 3.15pm, 45 minutes before his closed-door meeting. At 5pm, his parents walked out of the State Courts without him.
On Apr 14, Yee posted on his blog and made two Facebook posts asking for public donations. By doing so, he flouted his initial bail conditions – which disallowed him to post materials online.
During the half-hour session on Friday, the Court ordered that police bail be turned into Court bail. The amount remained at S$20,000. Under the new conditions, the YouTube video on the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, posted on Mar 27, must be made private. The same goes for the blog post on the late Margaret Thatcher – made on Mar 28.
Those posts were made before Yee was charged on Mar 31. In addition, his post asking the public for funds on Apr 14 has to be taken down because Yee had breached his bail conditions by uploading contents online.
Yee also has to report to his Investigation Officer at Bedok Police Station every day at 9am as part of his new bail conditions.
Channel NewsAsia understands that Yee intends to engage a lawyer.
While Yee had agreed to the new conditions, his parents refused to bail him out. The prosecution then asked the judge to vary the bail condition to allow a Singaporean – other than Yee’s parents – to post bail. But the bail office closed at 4.30pm, the same time Yee’s closed-door meeting ended.
The Court previously granted him a bail amount set at S$20,000 on Mar 31, under the condition that he will not post, upload or otherwise distribute any comment or content, whether directly or indirectly, to any social media or online service or website, while the current case against him is ongoing. The amount was posted, and Yee was out on bail.
Yee’s bail review will be held on Apr 21 at 4pm, while his next pre-trial conference has been scheduled for May 13 at 4pm.
Yee was charged at State Courts on Mar 31. The three charges were under Section 298 and Section 292(1)(a) of the Penal Code, as well as Section 4(1)(b) of the Protection from Harassment Act.
For the first charge under Section 298, the charge sheet stated that the YouTube video created by Yee “contained remarks against Christianity, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of Christians in general”.
As for the Protection from Harassment Act charge, Yee’s video “contained remarks about Mr Lee Kuan Yew which was intended to be heard and seen by persons likely to be distressed” by the clip, according to the charge sheet.