Australia loses ambassador as husband faces sex charges

AUSTRALIA'S ambassador to Spain has returned from her post after her spouse was committed to stand trial on child sex charges.

The Australian Federal Police arrested and charged Jane Hardy's husband, artist Vytas Kapociunas, 71, on September 20 last year at Canberra Airport after he allegedly had sexual contact with a child outside Australia.

Mr Kapociunas fronted the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday where Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker committed him to stand trial in the ACT Supreme Court.

He has pleaded not guilty to all three child sex charges.Ms Walker continued Mr Kapociunas's bail and added the condition that he notifies the court if he changes address.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed to Fairfax Media that Ms Hardy ceased her duties as ambassador on November 3, less than two years into what would normally be a three-year appointment.

DFAT emphasised that no allegations of inappropriate or illegal behaviour have been made against Ms Hardy who became ambassador in January, 2013.

She is now assistant secretary in the Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation Branch.Ms Hardy's identity and position were subject to a court suppression order that is no longer in force.

Mr Kapociunas's matter has been set down in the ACT Supreme Court next month for a directions hearing.


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