Vietnam is considering releasing British rocker Gary Glitter, who has been charged with child molestation, on bail but he will not be allowed to leave the country, a state official said today (Nov. 29).
“It is likely we will let him have bail and he can stay anywhere in Vietnam pending his trial,” the official from the southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau told Reuters. The official, who declined to be identified, said $40,000 was the maximum bail stipulated under Vietnamese law.
But Le Thanh Kinh, Glitter’s lawyer, said that the 1970s rock icon would be held for at least one more month in a detention center in Vung Tau for questioning before any bail was granted.
Last week, Vietnamese police charged 61-year-old Glitter, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, with “engaging in perverse activities with children” and had ordered him to remain in custody pending a three-month investigation.
Glitter has denied allegations he molested girls as young as 12 and insists he was just helping them with their English. The age of consent in the communist southeast Asian nation is 16 and sex with minors is punishable by up to 12 years in jail.
Authorities have not given details of their investigations, but state-run newspapers said last 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 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. Glitter had been in Vietnam for about a year, according to newspapers.
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