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Singaporean blogger Amos Yee, facing porn-related charges in US, considering plea deal

WASHINGTON - Singaporean blogger Amos Yee, who faces child pornography-related charges in a United States court and was offered a plea deal last month, has been given a month to consider the offer.

At a hearing before a Chicago court on Friday (Nov 12) morning, Yee's lawyer said he was "asking for additional time to talk to loved ones about the offer".

The special prosecutor agreed to hold the offer open for one month, said his lawyer, a public defender appointed by the court for Yee. She did not give details of the offer.

"It should not take him a month to talk this matter over with his loved ones," said Cook County Judge Carol Howard.

During the hearing, which lasted two minutes, the court eventually set Dec 2 as his next court date.

Plea deals may be offered when prosecutors have a strong case, said the US Department of Justice website, adding that the defendant can thereby avoid trial and have reduced exposure to a more lengthy sentence.

Yee, 23, was charged with solicitation and possession of child porn in October last year. He allegedly exchanged nude photos and "thousands" of messages with a 14-year-old Texas girl while in Chicago.

He was arrested last October and has been in remand since then, with bail set at US$1 million (S$1.35 million).

He was convicted and jailed twice in Singapore - in 2015 for harassment and insulting a religious group, and in 2016 over similar charges.

He arrived in the US in 2016 and was granted asylum in 2017.

If convicted, Yee's asylum status could be revoked and he could be deported.

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