Police said Thursday they have requested four more months of detention for ex-British rocker Gary Glitter while they complete investigations into a suspected child sex abuse case.
"I feel very confident" that authorities will approve the extension to keep the former pop star at a prison outside the southern coastal resort of Vung Tau, said Lt. Col. Nguyen Duc Trinh, deputy head of the police investigation department in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.
Trinh said initial investigations show there is evidence Glitter may have had sex with underage girls, including a 12-year-old. The age of consent in Vietnam is 18.
Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, has been held in detention since Saturday when he was stopped at Ho Chi Minh City's international airport as he was trying to leave the country amid allegations he had committed lewd acts with minors at his rented home in Vung Tau.
Under Vietnamese law, Glitter, who has not been charged with any crime, can be held by provincial police for up to nine days while they decide whether they have evidence to move forward with a criminal investigation or release him.
Trinh said police have gathered enough evidence in the last five days to request an order that would formalize and extend the ex-rocker's current detention outside Vung Tau.
Police have obtained statements from five girls about their sexual involvement with Glitter, including a 12-year-old girl, and compiled medical evidence of potential abuse, Trinh said.
During questioning sessions, Glitter "admitted he had intercourse with a lot of Vietnamese women," Trinh said.
Under Vietnamese law, sexual contact with a minor under the age of 18 carries varying penalties, depending on the charge. Child rape carries the maximum penalty of death before a firing squad.
Earlier this week, police said a 12-year-old girl claimed she had sex with Glitter at his home in this seaside resort town. The official English-language Vietnam News reported she told police Glitter had promised to teach her English and to help her to study overseas.
Glitter's attorney said on Wednesday he was seeking to get Glitter released from detention on bail.
Glitter, who rose to fame as a glam rocker in the 1970s, is best known for the 1972 hit "Rock and Roll Part 2," which is still frequently played at sporting events.
He was convicted in Britain in 1999 of possessing child pornography and served half of a four-month jail sentence before being released. He later went to Cambodia and was permanently expelled in 2002, though Cambodian officials did not specify any crime or file charges.