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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Glitter in Bkk causes alarm in Cambodia

Glitter in Bkk causes alarm in Cambodia

Glitter in Bkk causes alarm in Cambodia

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The former glam rocker is refusing to return to the UK

AFP

Former British glam rocker Gary Glitter sits on a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok after his release from a Vietnamese prison on Tuesday.

BRITISH glam rocker Gary Glitter, who was

deported from Vietnam on Tuesday after serving a jail sentence for

child sex offences, is refusing to return to the UK, raising concerns

among Cambodian politicians and civil society leaders that the

convicted paedophile will return to his one-time home, Cambodia.

"I am very worried that he will find his way back to Cambodia,"

said Mu Sochua, deputy secretary general of the Sam Rainsy Party.

Glitter fled Cambodia in 2002, amid allegations of pedophilia.  In

2005, a Vietnamese court charged him with having sexual relationships

with 11- and 12-year-old girls. He served nearly three years in jail.

Glitter was deported from the communist country under the terms of

his 2006 sentence, but on Tuesday the 64-year-old missed his Thai Air

flight to London and has remained in the transit lounge of Bangkok

airport since. 

On Wednesday, Thailand declared him a "persona non grata" and said

it plans to deport Glitter, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, to

Britain "as soon as possible", according to Thailand's immigration

chief, Lieutenant General Chatchawal Suksomjit.

Mu Sochua, who headed the campaign for his expulsion as Women's

Affairs Minister, said she was concerned Glitter could return to the

Kingdom as the weakness of the Kingdom's current border controls

continued to leave the country largely unprotected.

"Cambodia is very insecure and open to criminals. Anyone can walk

in or out because the people who work at borders are not paid well,"

she said. 

Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights,

agreed there were still no adequate safeguards against child sex

offenders in Cambodia, despite the country's history as a haven for

Western paedophiles. 

IF HE DID COME BACK IN THE GOVERNMENT WOULD KICK HIM OUT.

"I think he should go back to his own country and face the implementation of the law there," Ou Virak said.

Glitter on the blacklist

Glitter was put onto a "blacklist" when

he was expelled from Cambodia in 2002 and as a result will not be

permitted to return, Minister for Information Khieu Kanharith told the

Post Tuesday. 
"He is on a blacklist. If he did come back in, the government would kick him out again," he said.

When Glitter was deported from Cambodia in 2002, Interior Ministry

spokesman Khieu Sopheak declined to discuss details of the arrest,

saying simply he had "violated Cambodian laws". No charges were ever

filed.

Glitter was arrested at Ho Chi Minh City airport in November 2005

after a British newspaper reported he was living with an underage girl.

As of Wednesday, Britain had not announced any outstanding charges

against the singer, once famed for his flamboyant bouffant wigs and

silver jumpsuits.

But British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said he should not be allowed to leave the UK if he returns.

"We need to control him, and he will be, once he returns to this country," Smith told talkSPORT radio.

She said Glitter would have to sign a sex offenders registry and notify authorities if he wants to travel abroad.

"It certainly would be my view that with the sort of record that

he's got, he shouldn't be travelling anywhere in the world," she added.

But Glitter's lawyer Le Thanh Kinh argued that his client "has the right to go wherever he wants".

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP

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