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Last Updated: Monday, 26 December 2005, 09:25 GMT
Glitter police 'drop rape charge'
Gary Glitter
Glitter has denied all allegations of abuse
Vietnamese police are to drop a charge of child rape against Gary Glitter because of "lack of evidence", his lawyer has said.

But the former singer will be formally charged with committing lewd acts with children, Le Thanh Kinh said.

Glitter, 61, faces up to 12 years in jail if found guilty.

Earlier this month, news agency AFP said Glitter had admitted to police in Vietnam that a girl, 11, had spent the night with him but he denied all abuse.

Glitter is being held in Vietnam under suspicion of committing lewd acts with children. He has not yet been charged.

He denies allegations that he molested girls as young as 12 at his home in the resort of Vung Tau, where he has lived for the last six months.

Detention extended

"The [child rape] investigation has ended and the charge will still be the initial one, while additional issues were not raised by investigators, probably because of a lack of evidence," Glitter's lawyer said.

Glitter could have faced the death penalty if he had been convicted on the charge of having sex with a girl under the age of 13.

An announcement will be made by prosecutors about whether Glitter will be tried on the charge of committing lewd acts with children.

Police in Ria-Vung Tau, where Glitter is being held, were unavailable for comment.

Glitter - whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd - was arrested at Ho Chi Minh City airport on 19 November as he tried to leave Vietnam for Thailand.

His detention was extended by four months at the start of December while the claims are investigated.

Under Vietnamese law, Glitter can be held for up to 12 months before charges are laid.

The age of consent in Vietnam is 16.

Glitter was found guilty in the UK in 1999 of possessing child pornography and served two months in jail.

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