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Former TRS editor Yang Kaiheng intends to plead guilty to sedition

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by June 22, 2016 General

The duo behind ‘The Real Singapore’, Yang Kaiheng (left) and Ai Takagi, arrive at court in Singapore May 4, 2015. — TODAY picThe duo behind ‘The Real Singapore’, Yang Kaiheng (left) and Ai Takagi, arrive at court in Singapore May 4, 2015. — TODAY picSINGAPORE, June 22 — Yang Kaiheng, the former editor of sociopolitical site The Real Singapore, is intending to plead guilty to sedition charges relating to articles published on the now-defunct site, after a 7-day trial in March to contest these charges.

The trial, previously scheduled to continue this morning, has been adjourned.

A hearing has been fixed on Friday, when the 27-year-old intends to plead guilty.

He faces up to three years’ jail and/or a fine of up to S$5,000 (RM15,036.95) for each charge of sedition.

Yang had initially denied all involvement in the distribution and proprietorship of TRS, which ran the seven seditious articles for which he is charged.

His charges were identical to his wife, 23-year-old Ai Takagi, who had pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to ten months’ jail.

These “particularly egregious” articles, in the words of the prosecution, included a Feb 4, 2015, article that erroneously claimed a Filipino family had caused an incident between the police and Thaipusam participants by complaining about the playing of musical instruments during the procession.

The other charges relate to articles that were published between October 2013 and February last year that could incite ill-will and hostility among various groups in Singapore.

Yang previously testified that Takagi took charge of running TRS and its accounts, and said his involvement was “ad hoc”.

During the trial, prosecutors charged that the couple had been motivated by commercial greed, tending evidence that showed how TRS raked in about A$474,000 (RM1,427,509.29) in advertising revenue from December 2013 to April last year, and at its peak saw 3.2 million unique visitors a month. — TODAY

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