Former British Rocker Gary Glitter to Be Tried March 2
2/20/2006 7:55 PM PT
By TRAN VAN MINH, ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
British glam rocker Gary Glitter will go on trial March 2 on charges of committing obscene acts with two underaged girls in Vietnam, the presiding judge said Monday.
The trial is expected to last two days, said Hoang Thanh Tung, who will oversee the trial in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province.
Glitter, 61, who won fame in the 1970s with such hits as the anthemic "Rock & Roll, Part 2" and "Do You Wanna Touch Me," is accused of kissing and fondling the two girls, aged 10 and 11, and "engaging in other physical acts" at his rental home in the port city of Vung Tau last year. The crime carries a prison sentence ranging from three to seven years.
Tung said the trial will be held in closed session at the request of the girls' families because it involves minors. However, the verdict and possible sentencing will be open to the public, he said.
The court will decide at a later date whether photographers and cameramen would be allowed to enter the courtroom during the reading of the verdict since Glitter and the victims do not want to be photographed, Tung said.
Glitter, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, has been in police custody at a jail near Vung Tau since Nov. 19, when he was seized in Ho Chi Minh City trying to board a flight out of the country.
During the criminal investigation, police had considered whether to charge Glitter with child rape, which carries a maximum penalty of death, but said prosecutors did not find enough evidence.
Glitter was convicted in Britain in 1999 of possessing child pornography and served half of a four-month jail term. He later went to Cambodia but was permanently expelled in 2002, although Cambodian officials did not specify any crime or file charges.