November 25, 2005

Vietnam charges Glitter with molestation

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnamese police have pressed child
molestation charge against British rocker Gary Glitter who
faces up to 12 years in a Vietnamese jail if convicted,
officials said on Saturday.

"The formal charge is engaging in perverse activities with
children," an official from Ba Ria Vung Tau province told

The official, who declined to be identified, said Glitter
would be detained for up to three more months before a trial by
the provincial court of Ba Ria Vung Tau.

Glitter, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, has denied
allegations that he molested girls as young as 12 and insisted
he was just helping them with their English.

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

Officials have said they were considering allowing the
rocker bail due to the harsh conditions in the detention
center, where inmates sleep on the floor.

Glitter's Vietnamese lawyer, Le Thanh Kinh, told Reuters
the bail amount had not been decided yet.

Authorities have not given details of their investigation,
but state-owned 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.

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 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.