This story is from our news.com.au network Source: NEWS.com.au
AIDS sceptic accused of misleading court
- January 30, 2007
A DEFENCE witness in the appeal of a HIV-positive man convicted of having unprotected sex with three women was accused today of misleading the South Australian Court of Criminal Appeal.
Perth medical researcher Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos told the court hearing the appeal of Andre Chad Parenzee, 35, that HIV did not exist.
Parenzee is appealing against his conviction on three counts of endangering life. He is in custody awaiting sentencing and could face up to 15 years in prison.
Parenzee was found guilty in February 2006 of endangering the lives of three woman because he had unprotected sex with them without telling them he had HIV.
One woman has since contracted the virus.
Parenzee's defence argued he could not have endangered the women's lives because HIV did not exist.
Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos is one of two defence witnesses called in the appeal.
She is a medical physicist with the Royal Perth Hospital and heads the Perth Group, which believes that there is no link between HIV and AIDS.
Under cross-examination, Prosecutor Sandi McDonald acused Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos of misrepresenting studies presented to the court by omitting words from quotes that did not support her argument.
Some words were replaced by ellipses in a powerpoint presentation presented to the court last year.
Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos denied she had manipulated quotes, saying any information or words left out were irrelevant.
"We (the Perth Group) are not interested in speculation and commentary - only in the data," she told the court.
Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos said the virus had not been isolated, nor was the test to detect HIV accurate.
The prosecution will call up to six witnesses, including former Australian of the Year and world-leading immunologist Sir Gustav Nossal.
The hearing continues.