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Police, airline: Rocker Glitter flies to Hong Kong

Police, airline: Rocker Glitter flies to Hong Kong

British glam rocker Gary Glitter, who served nearly three years in a Vietnamese prison for molesting children, flew to Hong Kong Wednesday night after refusing to return to England, police and airline officials said.
Col. Voravat Amornvivat of the Immigration Police division said Thai Airways told him that Glitter, who had been in the transit area of Bangkok's international airport since Tuesday night, had taken the airline's evening flight to the Chinese territory.
The flight believed to be carrying Glitter arrived in Hong Kong shortly before 11 p.m. (1500 GMT), but it wasn't immediately clear whether he disembarked or was allowed to enter the territory.
An airline official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said Glitter was listed on the passenger manifest of the flight under his real name, Paul Francis Gadd.
In a statement, the Hong Kong government said it doesn't comment on individual cases but that immigration officials would "take into consideration all relevant factors and circumstances when processing applications."
On Tuesday night, Glitter flew out of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and had been booked to change planes in Bangkok en route to London after early release from prison.
He refused to board an onward flight to London, however, complaining of an earache. Thai authorities banned him from passing through immigration, leaving him in limbo.
Voravat said that officials had turned Glitter over to the custody of Thai Airways at about 4 p.m. (0900 GMT), after he agreed to travel to a third country.
In a recent interview with Vietnamese newspaper Cong An Nhan Dan _ People's Police _ Glitter said he was thinking about resuming his singing career and that he might move to Hong Kong or Singapore.
Lt. Gen. Chatchawal Suksomchit, the chief of Thailand's immigration police, said Glitter was denied entry because under Thai immigration laws those convicted of child sex abuse in a foreign country can be barred.
But another officer said his department received a note from Vietnam and Interpol requesting that Glitter not be allowed entry into Thailand. The official spoke on condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Glitter, 64, was convicted in March 2006 of committing "obscene acts with children." He served two years and nine months of a three-year sentence, which was reduced for good behavior.
The incidents involved two girls, ages 10 and 11, from the southern coastal city of Vung Tau. The verdict said he had molested the girls repeatedly at his seaside villa in Vung Tau and in nearby hotels.
Although Glitter proclaimed his innocence, he was sentenced to three years in prison. His sentence was reduced by three months for good behavior.
Glitter's fall from grace began in 1997, when he took his computer to a repair shop and an employee there discovered he had downloaded thousands of hardcore pornographic images of children. Two years later, British authorities convicted him of possession of child pornography, and Glitter served half of his four-month jail term.
Glitter hit the front pages of Britain's newspapers Wednesday.
In an editorial headlined "Who'd want him?" the conservative Daily Mail said "no country in its right mind would want this pervert at large on its soil."
British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith also announced a raft of new measures to tighten controls on people convicted of sexual offenses against children.
If Glitter ever returned to Britain, he would be met at the airport by police officers and would be placed on a sex offenders registry, which already lists about 30,000 people.
In his 1970s heyday, Glitter performed in glittery jumpsuits, silver platform shoes and bouffant wigs. He sold 18 million records and recorded a string of British top-10 hits.
His most successful song, the crowd-pleasing anthem "Rock and Roll (Part 2)," cracked the top 10 in the United States.
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Associated Press writers Min Lee in Hong Kong and Jennifer Quinn in London contributed to this report.


Updated : 2020-12-02 05:46 GMT+08:00