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Gary Glitter's appeal rejected

Published: 7:53AM Friday June 16, 2006 Source: Reuters

A court in Vietnam has turned down an appeal by former British rock star Gary Glitter against child molestation charges and ordered him to serve a three-year jail sentence and deportation.

An appeals court judge in the People's Supreme Court of communist-run Vietnam announced the decision in Ho Chi Minh City after a one-day hearing that was closed to the public and the media.

Under Vietnam law, Glitter, 62, may petition the president of the Supreme Court to review the charges and sentence again, a court official said.

Glitter, who rose to fame in the 1970s with hit songs and a bouffant hairstyle, was calm throughout the 40-minute reading of the decision, but shouted his displeasure after the court was dismissed.

"No justice here in Vietnam," Glitter screamed as he was escorted to a green van that returned him to prison in the southern resort town of Vung Tau about 120 km from Ho Chi Minh City. "They did not listen to the defence at all."

Glitter, a stage name, was charged and convicted in Vietnam under his real name Paul Francis Gadd on March 3 in a one-day closed trial. He was found guilty of kissing, fondling and having sex with two 11-year-old girls in Vung Tau.

"The appeal court has decided not to accept the appeal," said judge Truong Vinh Thuy through an interpreter in the French-colonial era court house with paint chipped and peeling from walls and ceilings.

"The appeal court confirms the sentence of three years. The appeal court decided to expel the accused after serving the sentence."

The judge said the sentence was effective from November 19, 2005, the day the disgraced Glitter was arrested while trying to flee Vietnam on a plane from Ho Chi Minh City.

Throughout the reading of the decision, Glitter, dressed in all black, stood facing the judge with his hands behind his back.

He occasionally shook his head over the description of the evidence and the charges against him.

At a press briefing after the hearing, a court official said the court considered evidence from Cambodia that Glitter had sexually molested children there as well as his conviction in his home country of Britain of storing pornographic pictures of children on his personal computer.

Glitter has maintained his innocence and accused British tabloid newspapers of conspiring against him and influencing witnesses. Glitter paid $2,000 in compensation to the two girls and their families.