16 year-old YouTuber Amos Yee was back at the State Courts on yesterday for a bail review. He had been remanded at Changi Prison since last Friday, after no bail was posted for him following a pre-trial conference that day.
Yee appeared in court handcuffed and dressed in a purple jumpsuit just after 4pm, and looked calm. Three lawyers, Alfred Dodwell, Chong Jia Hao from Dodwell & Co LLC, and Ervin Tan from Michael Hwang Chambers LLC told the court they would be acting for Yee pro bono.
Yee’s parents were at the State Courts on Tuesday, as well as a few other members of the public who said they were there to show moral support for the teen. Activist Jolovan Wham and was spotted at the Court as well.
At about 6.10pm, Yee was brought to the bail centre, still handcuffed and with ankle restraints, accompanied by more than five officers. Youth and family counsellor Vincent Law posted bail for him.
Mr Law said that he came forward to post the S$20,000 bail as he is a Christian, and wanted to show he was not offended by Yee’s posts. “It seems the charges say he made disparaging remarks about Christianity. I’m a Christian and I’m stepping up to say I’m not offended,” he said, adding that he, too, is a parent.
The 51-year-old, who is not related to the Yee family, hopes that Yee will also be willing to be counselled by him, and that he may respond better to a third party.
Yee was released at about 7pm.
Yee’s pre-trial conference has been moved forward to Apr 30, 3pm.
Mr Dodwell is on the board of directors for socio-political website The Independent.Sg. Asked about his pro-bono contribution to the case, he told Channel NewsAsia: “Because he’s a 16-year-old boy and everybody requires and needs legal representation. Needless to say, I have been following these news and I learnt that he’s not had any lawyer come forward to represent him and it is not easy for anybody to manoeuvre through the criminal justice system let alone a 16-year-old.
“We may not agree with him on what he has posted… (but) if it is a crime it has to be proven in the court of law and it needs some level of representation, that’s what we’re doing in this case.”
Mr Dodwell said he had yet to meet with Yee to “have a discussion with him on where he wants to go with this”, but that his client has been cooperative so far, having “immediately agreed” to pull down the offensive posts.