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Obscenity trial set for British rocker Glitter

British glam rocker Gary Glitter will go on trial March 2 on charges of committing obscene acts with two underaged girls in Vietnam, the presiding judge said Monday.

The trial is expected to last two days, said Hoang Thanh Tung, who will oversee the trial in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province. Glitter, 61, who won fame in the 1970s with such hits as the anthemic Rock & Roll, Part 2 and Do You Wanna Touch Me, is accused of kissing and fondling the two girls, aged 10 and 11, and other physical acts at his rental home in the port city of Vung Tau last year, authorities said.

Tung said the trial will be held in closed session at the request of the girls' families because it involves minors. However, the verdict and possible sentencing will be open to the public, he said.

Glitter, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, has been in police custody at a jail near Vung Tau since Nov. 19, when he was seized in Ho Chi Minh City trying to board a flight out of the country. He was convicted in Britain in 1999 of possessing child pornography and served half of a four-month jail term.

"Eight Below' rises to top

Eight Below, a tale of survival among abandoned sled dogs, led the box-office pack with a $25-million opening over the four-day holiday weekend. The romance spoof Date Movie debuted second with $22.3-million, studios estimated Monday. The new movies bumped off The Pink Panther, the previous weekend's No. 1 film, which slipped to third place with $21-million. The weekend's other new wide release, the urban drama Freedomland, opened a weak No. 7 with $7-million.

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