June 15, 2006

Vietnam court upholds Glitter’s jail sentence

HO CHI MINH CITY (Reuters) - A court in Vietnam on Thursday
upheld child molestation charges and a three-year jail sentence
for former British rock star Gary Glitter, who had proclaimed
his innocence and lodged an appeal.

A judge in the People's Supreme Court of communist-run
Vietnam announced the decision in court in Ho Chi Minh City
after a one-day hearing that was closed to the public and the

"The appeal court has decided not to accept the appeal,"
said judge Truong Vinh Thuy through an interpreter. "The appeal
court confirms the sentence of three years. The appeal court
decided to expel the accused after serving the sentence."

The judge said the sentence will take effect from November
19, 2005, the day the disgraced Glitter was arrested while
trying to leave Vietnam.

Throughout the 40-minute reading of the decision, Glitter
stood facing the judge with his hands behinds his back, and
occasionally shaking his head over the description of the
evidence and the charge against him.

"No justice here in Vietnam," Glitter screamed while being
taken out of the courtroom. "They did not listen to the defense
at all."

As the handcuffed Glitter, dressed in a black cap, black
shirt and black pants, was led out of a padlocked green police
vehicle into the court, he pleaded: "I'm innocent."

Glitter, 62, famous in the 1970s for his flamboyant
hairstyle and hit song "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)," has
been imprisoned since his arrest in November 2005 while trying
to leave the Southeast Asian country.

He was convicted on March 3 after a one-day closed trial of
sexually molesting two 11-year-old girls in the southern resort
town of Vung Tau. He may be eligible for parole in December.

Charged under his real name, Paul Francis Gadd, his
punishment included deportation after serving his sentence.