November 23, 2005

Rocker Gary Glitter hires Vietnamese lawyer

HANOI (Reuters) - British rocker Gary Glitter has hired a
Vietnamese lawyer to defend him against child molestation
allegations, state media reported on Thursday.

Le Thanh Kinh told the Thanh Nien newspaper he would seek
bail for the 61-year-old Glitter after meeting his client in a
detention center in the southern city of Vung Tau on Wednesday.

Glitter told his lawyer the jail conditions were acceptable
and he was allowed to keep 1.4 million dong (about $90) to buy
extra food, the newspaper said.

The lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

The veteran glam rocker, whose real name is Paul Francis
Gadd, was detained at Ho Chi Minh City airport on Saturday
morning as he tried to board a plane to Bangkok.

Vung Tau police are keeping Glitter in custody for
questioning on allegations that he abused girls as young as 12.

Glitter has denied the allegations and insisted he was just
helping girls with their English.

Other newspapers said this week police had identified 10
girls who admitted to having had sex with Glitter. One of the
girls was 12 years old.

The age of consent in Vietnam is 16 and sex with minors is
punishable by up to 12 years in jail.

Glitter was sentenced to four months in jail in Britain in
1999 after being found guilty of storing more than 4,000 images
of child pornography on the hard drive of his computer.

After his release, he left Britain for Cuba and then later
turned up in Phnom Penh.

Child rights activists hounded him out of Cambodia twice
and had his name put on an entry blacklist, although Glitter
filed lawsuits last year fighting the deportation orders.

Vietnamese newspapers have reported Glitter had been in
Vietnam for about a year.