SINGAPORE – Amos Yee, the 16-year-old whose online rants against Christianity have landed him in trouble with the law, is out on bail after spending four nights in remand.
Yee was brought from the court lockup to the bail centre at 6pm in handcuffs and leg shackles, escorted by five auxiliary police officers and three police officers.
His bailor is Mr Vincent Law, 51, a family and youth counsellor.
Said Mr Law: “I’m a Christian and it seems that the charge said that he made disparaging remarks against Christianity. I’m a Christian and I’m stepping up to say that I’m not offended.”
“I’m also a parent and I feel for his parents.”
He added that he hopes Yee is willing to be counselled by him, and reckons the youth may “respond better to a third party”, especially since he is a counsellor.
Yee also has three lawyers representing him pro bono now.
Lawyer Alfred Dodwell told District Judge Ronald Gwee that he would be representing Yee along with lawyers Chong Jia Hao and Ervin Tan.
Mr Dodwell also told the court that someone was on the way to post bail for the teenager, who had been in remand since last Friday after his parents did not post bail.
The lawyer got in touch with Yee’s parents two days ago.
Speaking to reporters later, Mr Dodwell said the lawyers are representing Yee because of his age and because “we believe everybody needs legal representation”.
He said they did not condone or approve of what Yee did, but wanted to provide him with “proper legal representation so that he can be advised of the three charges” that he is facing.
The lawyers also handed out a statement to reporters, explaining why they were acting for him. It said that “the fundamental tenets of access to justice is enhanced if any person – including a 16 year-old accused of criminal offences – is represented by lawyers, instead of being left to navigate the criminal justice system without legal representation”.
The statement also said the lawyers would advise Yee on his bail conditions; on whether pleading guilty or innocent would be the most appropriate course of action; and on sentencing options available to the court including those that deal with young offenders.
District Judge Ronald Gwee set the teen’s next pre-trial conference for April 30.