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23 Jan 2003 10:12
The vice president of Clonaid, which says it has now cloned three babies, was ordered 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 the baby girl nicknamed Eve, which his company says is the world’s first human clone.
Testifying by telephone on Wednesday from his Las Vegas home, Kaenzig refused to answer most questions, even when threatened with contempt of court 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 Baby Eve’s birth last month but has not provided details about her or made her available for independent tests.
Clonaid said a third cloned child, a boy, had been born in Japan on Wednesday.
In Japan, a representative for the Japan Raelian Movement said on 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.
The representative, who asked to remain unnamed, refused to say where in Japan the baby was born. She said company president Brigitte Boisselier would hold a news conference Thursday in Toronto to talk about the latest births.
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 February 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. - Sapa-AP
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