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Judge Dismisses Child Sex Charges Against Diplomat

November 13, 1996

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) _ A magistrate today dismissed child sex abuse charges against Australia’s former ambassador to Cambodia, calling the testimony of the chief witness ``worthless.″

Magistrate Michael Somes said the Cambodian teen-ager altered some dates and provided differing versions of his story that former ambassador John Holloway paid him $2 for oral and anal sex in 1994 in Phnom Penh.

``He, for whatever reason, was attempting to convince the court from very early on in his evidence that he was not ... a child prostitute,″ Somes said.

Under a 1994 law, Australians who commit child sex crimes overseas can be prosecuted as if the offenses had been committed within Australia.

Holloway, 53, said he was pleased by the ruling and planned to resume his career in the foreign service. While posted in Cambodia in the early 1990s, Holloway helped devise the U.N. peace accord that led to the departure of the Vietnamese army and elections in 1993.

The dismissal of the charges comes against a background of allegations of child abuse by Australian diplomats.

The government has launched a closed inquiry into the allegations, including charges that Australian diplomats exchanged child pornography through diplomatic channels and used aid money to procure sex from children.