Glitter 'being well-treated' in jail

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Gary Glitter is facing three to seven years in a Vietnamese prison if he is found guilty on child sex charges, but he is being well-treated as he waits to hear if he will be put on trial, his lawyer has told The Independent on Sunday.

The 1970s glam rocker was formally charged on Friday with committing obscene acts with two girls aged 10 and 11 at his rented home in the seaside resort town of Vung Tau. Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, originally faced child rape charges, which carried a potential penalty of death by firing squad, but prosecutors said there was not enough evidence.

This week the case will be handed to a provincial court, which will decide within two and a half months whether he should go to trial. The singer has been held since November, when he tried to board a flight out of the country.

According to Glitter's Vietnamese lawyer, Le Thanh Kinh, he is sharing a 20-square-metre cell with one other prisoner, a Vietnamese man charged with robbery. For all the lack of privacy and air-conditioning, the two men enjoy a view of the resort from their window.

"He's living with one Vietnamese in the room who speaks English very well, so they can exchange ideas easily," said Mr Le. Apart from reading the papers and chatting with his cellmate, the Briton has room service. "He can buy food he likes from the canteen, such as meat, eggs, bread, rice and soup," said the lawyer.

The head of child protection in the Unicef office, Le Hong Loan, says she hopes the Glitter case has served as a wake-up call.

"His case has rung bells for the government to say these problems exist," Ms Le said, adding that there is not even a word in Vietnamese for "paedophile", so unfamiliar is the phenomenon there.

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