British glam rock star Gary Glitter (real name: Paul Gadd), convicted of child pornography offenses in 1999 in his homeland, has been deported from Cambodia after he was arrested in the country, the Foreign Office said yesterday (Jan. 7). Glitter, who had set up home last year in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh — a country with a reputation as a safe haven for child sex offenders — was detained on Dec. 26 and deported on Dec. 28 after spending two days in prison, the Foreign Office confirmed.
“We can confirm that he was deported from Cambodia,” a Foreign Office spokesperson said. Foreign Office officials were unable to say exactly why Glitter had been detained and then deported.
Glitter was flown to Thailand, according to U.K. media reports. His lawyers are understood to be challenging the deportation. After the 58-year-old was detained, the decision to deport him was taken by the Cambodian authorities with no involvement from British officials, the Foreign Office said.
Glitter was sentenced in 1999 to four months in a British prison for downloading child pornography from the Internet. The 1970s pop icon caused a storm of controversy last May when he was found setting up home in Cambodia, whose notoriously lax judicial system and weak law enforcement have created its reputation as a safe haven for child sex offenders.
Although he committed no crimes in Cambodia, the impoverished Southeast Asian nation’s minister for woman’s affairs led a campaign to kick Glitter out on the grounds his presence sullied the country’s image. He left Cambodia at the end of May, and was widely believed to have gone to Vietnam, although this was never confirmed.
He turned up again in Phnom Penh late last year and stayed as a tourist in an unidentified guest house.
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