`HIV murderer` in Canada gets life in prison

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 11:01

Montreal: A Canadian man convicted of
murder in 2009 for knowingly transmitting HIV to women was
sentenced to life in prison and may not be eligible for parole
due to the risk he could commit the same crime.

Johnson Aziga, a 50-something man of Ugandan descent,
was found guilty in April 2009 of two counts of premeditated
murder --- a first in Canada -- and 10 counts of aggravated
sexual assault for spreading the AIDS virus to his lovers.
A life sentence in Canada often carries with it the
possibility of parole after 25 years behind bars, but an
Ontario court designated Aziga a "dangerous criminal," meaning
a commission will decide whether parole can be granted.

Aziga -- who learned of his condition in 1996 -- had
unprotected sex with 11 women, none of whom were told of his
HIV-positive status.

Seven women were infected, and two have since died of
AIDS-related complications.

Aziga, a former employee of the provincial justice
ministry, told the court he never intended to transmit the
virus to the women, and that he had not revealed his status
due to cultural and religious taboos in his homeland.

He said he wished to renounce his Canadian citizenship
and serve out his sentence in Uganda or Kenya because he
believed he had not received a fair trial in Canada, according
to CBC public television.
Prosecutors argued Aziga was at heightened risk of
infecting other women if eventually released.

But his defense lawyers countered that during the
eight years in prison since his 2003 arrest, Aziga had
changed, learned of the health risks posed by his condition
and would not repeat the same behavior.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 11:01

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