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    Mar 30, 2016

    Yang likely to claim trial over criminal charges

    FORMER China tour guide Yang Yin is expected to claim trial for all 349 criminal charges brought against him, his lawyer said yesterday.

    Yang, 42, was in court yesterday as his criminal case was scheduled to be mentioned.

    After a meeting with Deputy Public Prosecutor Leong Weng Tat, Yang's lawyer, Wee Pan Lee, told reporters that he had received "no instructions" on whether his client would plead guilty.

    Speaking to The Straits Times later, Mr Wee said: "He is claiming trial. This is for now. Things can change."

    The criminal trial will also be separated into two parts, as "the facts are different", added Mr Wee.

    Yang's charges include alleged immigration offences and falsification of receipts made to his company, Young Music and Dance Studio.

    The receipts allegedly made it seem that his firm, through which he obtained permanent residency, was viable and had received $450,000 in payment for services.

    The most serious charges are two counts of criminal breach of trust, of allegedly misappropriating $1.1 million from 89-year-old widow Chung Khin Chun. These will be heard in a separate trial.

    He allegedly misappropriated $500,000 from her in 2010. Two years later, he allegedly misappropriated another $600,000 from the widow, who was diagnosed with dementia this year.

    In court yesterday, Yang was in remand uniform - a purple jumpsuit - and had neatly trimmed hair.

    The Chinese national, who has been in remand since October 2014 after he was denied bail, peered out of the holding room occasionally.

    The case involving Madam Chung and Yang broke in 2014 when her niece, Hedy Mok, started a series of legal actions against him for allegedly manipulating her aunt into handing over her assets.

    Madam Chung owns a bungalow in Gerald Crescent and her assets are estimated to be worth $40 million.

    A pre-trial conference for the criminal case is scheduled for today.