SINGAPORE (AP) — Prosecutors in Singapore say they are seeking reform training for a teenager who is refusing probation and who again made public the video and blog posts a court deemed offensive earlier this month.
The court on May 12 found Amos Yee, 16, had offended Christians in a YouTube video and had transmitted online an obscene image of Singapore's founding leader Lee Kuan Yew and Britain's Margaret Thatcher.
He initially agreed to take down the two offending posts and to cooperate with arrangements to serve probation, but then failed to attend scheduled interviews and failed to return home by times stipulated on a trial basis by his probation officers. Court documents shown to The Associated Press revealed that Yee's parents declined to meet with the officers, saying there was no need to do so since Yee himself "was not keen on probation."
According to the court documents, Yee had told his assigned probation officer that he did not want to be placed on probation. Last Thursday, his case investigation officer discovered that Yee had made his offending video and blog post publicly viewable once again, actions which deputy public prosecutor Hay Hung Chun said were contemptuous of court.
In a statement shared with media Wednesday by the Attorney General's Chambers, Hay said Yee "is clearly a misguided youth who seeks attention by deliberately posting provocative content, who has no insight into his offending behavior, and who is likely to keep repeating this pattern of conduct."
Hay recommended reform training because jail time or a fine would not rehabilitate him. Yee may be jailed while his suitability for reform training is assessed, however.
Yee's defense counsel asked for time to speak with the teenager and his parents, and District Judge Jasvender Kaur is likely to decide on Yee's next steps when he next appears in court on Tuesday.
Reform training in Singapore is for convicted offenders between 16 and 18 who have been assessed as unsuitable for probation. They are housed in a training center without adult inmates for a set time. Yee, who turns 17 in October, would have term lasting at least 18 months, if the judge accepts the prosecutors' recommendation.