Clonaid exec expected in court Wednesday

Judge seeks whereabouts of alleged cloned child
CNN, Jan. 28, 2003

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) — Claims of cloned babies and aliens are expected to resurface Wednesday with the anticipated appearance of Clonaid’s vice president in a Florida courtroom.

Thomas Kaenzig has been ordered to appear in court by Broward County Circuit Judge John Frusciante to answer questions about the existence and location of the alleged cloned child.

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The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. EST.

During a hearing last week Frusciante ordered Kaenzig and Clonaid Chief Executive Officer Brigitte Boisselier to appear in court on whether the state of Florida should appoint a guardian for the alleged baby. The judge said he would hold the two in contempt of court if they failed to show.

Kaenzig refused last week to testify in detail about the headline-grabbing claim many experts consider to be a hoax. Instead, he testified via telephone from Las Vegas for last week’s hearing, which lasted about an hour and a half. He was hesitant to give any details about the company until the judge ordered him to do so.

The company was founded by the Raelian sect, which believes mankind was created by extraterrestrials.

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 Baby Eve, the child his company says is the world’s first clone.

Clonaid announced the birth of Eve December 26, but has not provided details about her or made her available for independent tests. Clonaid said last week that a third cloned child, a boy, had been born in Japan. Clone No. 2, a girl, was purportedly born to a Dutch lesbian January 3.

In Japan, a spokeswoman for the Japan Raelian Movement said 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 has said five clones were expected to be born by February 5. Many scientists have said only independent testing would confirm whether the claim is true.

The hearing was scheduled after Florida attorney Bernard Siegel 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.

Soon after Siegel filed suit, the sect’s head, Rael, said he told Boisselier not to perform any DNA tests on the child. Clonaid then reversed its decision to allow a team of scientists to examine the child.

Kaenzig said he had Boisselier’s word “the child is being taken care of.”


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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday January 29, 2003.
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