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    Apr 22, 2015

    Counsellor bails out teen behind online rant

    AMOS Yee, the 16-year-old whose online rant against Christianity has landed him in trouble with the law, is out on bail after spending four nights in remand.

    Yee was brought from the court lock-up to the bail centre at 6pm in handcuffs and leg shackles, escorted by five auxiliary police officers and three police officers.

    His bailor is 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."

    Mr Law hopes Yee is willing to be counselled by him and reckons the youth may "respond better to a third party", more so as he is a counsellor.

    Yee has three lawyers representing him pro bono.

    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 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" 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 are 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 relating to young offenders.

    The teen's next pre-trial conference is set for April 30.

    Yee was charged on March 31 with attacking Christianity, transmitting an obscene image and making an online video containing remarks about founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew that offended viewers.

    Yee was remanded on Friday after the judge at a pre-trial conference converted the $20,000 police bail he had been on to court bail, requiring bail to be reposted. But his parents decided against posting bail.