A senior British police inspector met with Vietnamese authorities to discuss the case of ex-rocker Gary Glitter, who has been detained on suspicion of engaging in obscene acts with a child, state-controlled media and the British Embassy said Monday. Detective Chief Inspector Sean McKenna of the National Crime Squad met with police while in Vietnam on an unrelated trip to boost cooperation between the nations' police forces, an embassy official said on condition of anonymity in accordance with embassy practice.
Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, is being held in Phuoc Co prison outside coastal Vung Tau city on suspicion of engaging in obscene acts with child, a charge punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
McKenna did not meet with the British celebrity, the official said. He declined to provide additional details. Monday's Labor newspaper reported that police in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province briefed McKenna on Friday about Glitter's case.
Glitter has denied all allegations and has not been formally charged. He has been held since Nov. 19, when he was seized while trying to board a flight to Bangkok from Ho Chi Minh City. He can be held in custody for at least three months.
Police have questioned six females ranging in age from 11 to 23 who allege they had sexual contact with Glitter.
Vietnam's penalties for sexual contact with a juvenile vary depending on the charge. The maximum punishment for child rape is death by firing squad, and police have said sex with a child under 13 is considered rape. Glitter won fame as a flamboyant "glam rocker" in the 1970s. He is perhaps best known for "Rock and Roll (Part 2)," still often played at sporting events.
He was convicted in Britain in 1999 of possessing child pornography and served half of a four-month jail term. He later went to Cambodia and was permanently expelled in 2002, but Cambodian officials did not specify any crime or file charges, reports the AP. I.L.