AP, Jan. 23, 2003
Posted January 23 2003, 1:39 AM EST
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The vice president of Clonaid, which says it has now cloned three babies, was ordered Wednesday to appear in court next week after refusing to testify in detail about the headline-grabbing claim many experts consider to be a hoax.
The executive, Thomas Kaenzig, said his company wasn’t incorporated anywhere and said it had kept him largely ignorant about its operations. He said he didn’t know the location of Eve, the baby his company says is the world’s first clone.
Testifying by telephone from his Las Vegas home, Kaenzig refused to answer most questions, even when threatened with contempt by Circuit Judge John Frusciante. The judge, who is deciding whether to appoint a guardian for Eve, ordered Kaenzig to appear in court next Wednesday.
Clonaid announced the birth of a girl the company nicknamed Baby Eve last month, but has not provided details about her or made her available for independent tests. Clonaid said Wednesday that a third cloned child, a boy, had been born in Japan. Clone No. 2, a girl, was purportedly born to a Dutch lesbian Jan. 3.
A Clonaid spokeswoman said company president Brigitte Boisselier would hold new conference Thursday in Toronto to talk about the latest births.
In Japan, a spokeswoman for the Japan Raelian Movement said Thursday that the Japanese baby is a clone of a 2-year-old boy who died in an accident 18 months ago. An Asian woman not of Japanese nationality served as the surrogate, she said.
Clonaid was founded by the leader of a sect that believes aliens created life on Earth and has said five clones were expected to be born by Feb. 5. Many scientists have said only independent testing would confirm whether the claim is true.
The hearing was scheduled after a Miami attorney filed a petition seeking a guardian for Eve, saying he wanted to protect the interests of the child — even though no one has seen her.
Kaenzig said he had Boisselier’s word “the child is being taken care of.” Frusciante, a full-time family court judge, said parents of starved and abused children tell him that every day.