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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer boys testify against Holloway

Khmer boys testify against Holloway

C ANBERRA - A Cambodian boy has testified that former Australian Ambassador to Cambodia

John Holloway twice had sex with him in Phnom Penh in 1994 in return for $2 each

time.

The boy, said to be 14 at the time, told Canberra Magistrates Court that he suffered

gonorrhea after having sex with Holloway under a tree near Wat Botum.

The boy testified that on another occasion he engaged in sex acts with Holloway and

his driver Chetra at the former ambassador's home.

The boy said next morning Holloway ate bananas and pineapple but only gave him $2

before sending him on a moto-taxi back to his home at the temple.

However Michael Somes, the magistrate at the commital hearing, raised doubts about

the reliability of the testimony, saying that if it was the only evidence given during

the case he would be reluctant to commit Holloway for trial.

Crown prosecutor Peter Hastings QC said evidence would be led that Holloway also

had sex in 1994 with a then-13 or 14-year-old boy in a Phnom Penh hotel.

The boy, an orphan, said that Holloway turned young children into male prostitutes.

He said he went to the hotel in the hope Holloway would adopt him.

The names of the alleged victims have been suppressed in court. The charges carry

a maximum sentence of 17 years jail. The case had yet to end at the time the Post

went to print.

Holloway has not entered a plea but strenuously denies the accusations. His counsel

David Buchanan accused both boys of lying so that welfare organizations like World

Vision would give them financial support.

"No, I did not make it up. It is the truth," said the boy who testified

that Holloway engaged in sex acts with him near Wat Botum, and at the ambassador's

house. Buchanan said it was obvious to all that the boy had perjured himself.

The boy gave evidence from a separate court room linked by closed-circuit television.

He said after Holloway had asked him to have sex he "was walking around the

temple looking for more children." He said the sex act lasted 30 minutes and

that whenever anybody came within ten meters Holloway would pull up his trousers.

The court heard the boy say he led Australian Federal police to Holloway's house

where he said sex acts had also taken place, and that he also identified Holloway

from photographs and said that Holloway had a lump on his back.

Questioned by Buchanan, the boy said that he had testified in a Cambodian court last

year against a British doctor Gavin Scott who was found guilty of child sex offenses

and jailed.

The boy said he'd been told he would get $400 compensation from the Cambodian court

and that he lied about having had sex with Scott.

But later the boy said Scott had oral sex with him and "not had sex but tried."

He said he did not want to talk about Scott's case.

The other boy, an orphan who said he will turn 17 next year, told the court that

Holloway twice performed sex acts with him at the Angkor Hotel.

The boy said he knew that Holloway - whom he knew as Mr Klong - was high ranking

in the Australian embassy. He said that Holloway had a lot of money to help children

but "then he did something like that to me... some bad things."

Asked why he did not tell Holloway that he was misbehaving, he said: "I could

not tell him about good and bad because I was with him for a short time and I wanted

to become one of his adopted children... he [has] got money and he makes people to

become male prostitutes.

"He took me as his adopted child, but not a real child to live with him - he

used me as a thing to please himself."

Buchanan questioned the boy about contradictions in what he told Australian police

in Phnom Penh in 1995 and his testimony before court.

The boy said that he went with Holloway in 1994 and was interviewed by police the

next year. "I am sure I could not remember everything...," the boy said.

The boy said that sometime in 1994, "near 1995", he was approached by Holloway's

interpreter outside Wat Botum, where he was living at the time.

He said that he and a Cambodian youth aged about 18 were driven to the Angkor Hotel

and went to a room, where sexual acts took place with Holloway.

Holloway then left and later returned, after which another sex act occured. The boy

said Holloway paid him some money before he left for the first time but none the

second time.

"It appeared that Mr Klong had a high feeling, a high feeling. But I just wanted

to finish and get out as quickly as possible," the boy said of the experience.

During cross-examination by Holloway's counsel, Buchanan, the boy appeared not to

understand some questions. At one stage Judge Somes told Buchanan the boy "doesn't

perhaps understand what you are asking him."

The boy confirmed that he had also testified against Gavin Scott in Phnom Penh last

year.

He said he testified then "because I knew Dr Scott and as a doctor he should

know about children...because he did not do the right thing."

The Holloway case is the first where alleged victims from another country have been

brought to Australia to testify under the recent Child Sex Tourism Act law, that

carries a maximum of 17 years jail.

Earlier in the hearing, Heng Vibol, an investigator for the human rights group Licadho

said that a "whole group" of children had been potential witnesses against

Holloway.

Vibol said that he had once talked to Holloway in the park near Wat Botum and another

time had seen him there talking to children. He agreed that some of the evidence

included versions of sex with Holloway that he had not heard before.

Vibol denied he had offered children cash to give evidence.

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