HANOI, Vietnam – Former rock star Gary Glitter paid $4,000 to the families of Vietnamese girls he is accused of sexually abusing in exchange for their cooperation, his lawyer said.
Glitter, who won fame as a flamboyant glam rocker in the 1970s, gave $2,000 each to the families of two girls, ages 11 and 12, after they agreed to write letters to the court asking that the case be dropped, lawyer Le Thanh Kinh said Wednesday.
"If we pay the money for the two families, when this case goes to court, maybe Mr. Gary will receive a lighter penalty," Kinh said.
Glitter, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, has been held in prison since Nov. 19 on suspicion of engaging in obscene acts with a child, an offense punishable with up to 12 years in prison. He was seized while trying to board a flight to Bangkok, Thailand, from Ho Chi Minh City.
Police completed their investigation this week and handed over their conclusions to Glitter, 61, and Kinh on Wednesday, said Lt. Col. Nguyen Duc Trinh in a telephone interview. Prosecutors will get the documents within three days.
The families, who were paid two weeks ago, had asked for $10,000 and $5,000 respectively, Kinh said.
"After receiving the money, they informed the investigation bureau that they don't want to go to court and they want to drop the case," he said.
Prosecutors said the money paid would have no bearing on whether the case goes to trial. However, Nguyen Van Xung, deputy provincial chief prosecutor, said the court would consider the $4,000 paid as a form of compensation during the sentencing phase.
"It will not affect the investigation and the trial process, but the court may consider it as one factor to lessen the sentence," Xung said.
Glitter was convicted in Britain in 1999 of possessing child pornography and served half of a four-month jail term.