~ Le Vięt Nam, aujourd'hui. ~
The Vietnam News

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Glitter considers Hong Kong move after release

HONG KONG — British former pop singer Gary Glitter, jailed in Vietnam for child molestation, is considering moving to Hong Kong after his release, a report said Sunday. The 63-year-old -- jailed for three years in 2005 for molesting girls aged 11 and 12 -- has asked his Vietnamese lawyer Le Thanh Kinh about the possibility of a new life in the city, the Sunday Morning Post said, quoting unnamed friends of Kinh.

Glitter -- whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd -- is set for release in August, when he will be deported back to the UK. But he told Kinh he wants to return to Asia as soon as possible, the report added. Glitter began thinking about Hong Kong 13 months ago after a meeting about life in the UK with British police and a sex offences specialist at his prison in Thu Duc, the source said.

"It wasn't a happy encounter. He said afterwards he didn't like the sound of it at all, and it made him determined never to settle back in the UK," a friend of Kinh told the English-language paper. "He doesn't know where he will live if he is released but he has spoken to Mr Kinh about moving to Hong Kong. He told Mr Kinh on one of his visits, 'It's a big city where I can go around without being noticed. But I'll be able to get English food there'." However, Kihn denied Glitter had spoken to him about moving to Hong Kong, and said "it is not clear where he will go after his release". Glitter was last week recovering in a hospital custody unit after reportedly collapsing in his prison cell with heart problems a fortnight ago.

Earlier this week, Binh Thuan provincial hospital director Nguyen Huu Quang told AFP that Glitter had been admitted for acute diarrhoea, adding: "During his treatment, we found he had also some heart troubles." However, he denied he had suffered a heart attack, as reported in Britain's News Of The World newspaper last Sunday. Kinh also told AFP last week that Glitter had not sought any amnesty or sentence reduction for the Lunar New Year.

And the British Embassy in Vietnam said last week it was not in negotiations to have him released early for health reasons. Glitter, a former "glam rocker" once famed in Britain for his flamboyant bouffant wigs and silver jumpsuits, had several hits in the 1970s including "I'm The Leader Of The Gang (I Am!)" and "Do You Wanna Touch Me?" He fell from grace when a British court jailed him in 1999 for possession of child pornography. He served half a four-month term and then left Britain to live in several other countries, including Cambodia, before moving to Vietnam.

Agence France Presse - January 27, 2007.