Glitter awaits decision over charges

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The Independent Online

Disgraced rock star Gary Glitter will find out this week if he is to be formally charged over allegations he had sex with under age Vietnamese girls, his lawyer said today.

Local police have finished their investigation into the claims and will announce their findings in the next few days, said Glitter's attorney Le Thanh Kinh.

It was reported Vietnamese officers will drop a charge of child rape against the former singer, but will charge him with committing lewd acts with children.

The 61-year-old was arrested last month at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City as he tried to flee Vietnam.

He had left his rented home in the southern resort of Vung Tau amid allegations about his relationships with two teenage girls.

Glitter was taken back to Vung Tau for further investigation by the police and has been detained in a regional prison on suspicion of engaging in obscene acts with a child - a charge punishable by up to 12 years in prison.

Le Thanh Kinh said: "It's likely that the findings of the investigation will be handed over to him this week."

Two Vietnamese girls, aged 12 and 18 years old, have told police they had sex with the singer - real name Paul Francis Gadd - at his home.

There were conflicting reports that the second girl had not yet turned 18.

Earlier this month Glitter admitted to police that an 11-year-old girl slept in his bed, but he denied sexually abusing her.

During interrogations by police, Glitter said he allowed the girl to sleep in his bed after she claimed she was afraid of ghosts, Mr Kinh said.

Glitter has been living in Vung Tau since March and has applied for permanent resident status in Vietnam.

Glitter was convicted in Britain in 1999 of possessing child pornography and served half of a four-month jail sentence before being released.

He later went to Cambodia and was permanently expelled in 2002, reportedly for trawling for underage sex, although Cambodian officials did not specify his crime or file charges.