Fugitive lawyer Charles Yeo told investigator he does not intend to return to S'pore, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Fugitive lawyer Charles Yeo told investigator he does not intend to return to S'pore

This article is more than 12 months old

SINGAPORE - Lawyer Charles Yeo Yao Hui, who has a warrant of arrest issued against him after he absconded, is still on the run, a district court heard on Wednesday.

In a review on matters involving the warrant, Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Siu Ming said that an investigation officer contacted him via WhatsApp on March 21 and was told that he does not intend to return to Singapore.

The DPP also told District Judge Terence Tay that efforts to trace him are ongoing. She did not state where Yeo is now.

Another review is scheduled for Sept 27, 2023.

Yeo, 32, who is the former chairman of the Reform Party, had his full bail amount of $15,000 forfeited in September 2022.

He was earlier charged with offences including multiple counts of harassment and wounding the religious feeling of Christians.

In July 2022, Yeo was given permission to leave Singapore for Vietnam to meet a witness linked to an unrelated trial that he was handling then. He was then offered bail with his mother acting as the bailor.

He was allowed to leave Singapore on July 27, 2022, and was supposed to be back three days later.

Yeo then posted on Instagram, stating that he intended to go to the UK to seek political asylum.

On Aug 1, 2022, he failed to turn up in court to represent his client in a trial involving immigration-related matters.

His then client, Kok Chiang Loong, 42, who is accused of offences including playing a role in a purported marriage of convenience, had since engaged another lawyer. Kok’s case is still pending.

The warrant of arrest was issued against Yeo on Aug 3, 2022, but about three months later, he appeared in a High Court hearing via video call over a separate matter.

In November 2022, Yeo was convicted of contempt of court by scandalising the judiciary in two Instagram stories he posted on March 14, 2022, in which he aired grievances over his dispute with fellow lawyer Joseph Chen.

Among other things, Yeo had said that Mr Chen, whom he called a “state agent”, was being “shielded” by the justice system.

This hearing had taken place after the Attorney-General was granted permission by the High Court on May 10, 2022, to proceed with contempt proceedings against Yeo.

The relevant papers were served on him seven days later and the hearing took place in November 2022.

During the Zoom hearing, Yeo said he was “currently under the protection of the UK government” and that he was in a “decent hotel room”.