Head of Clonaid ordered to appear in court next week
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) -- A judge Wednesday ordered the head of Clonaid to appear in court next week to answer questions on whether the alleged first human clone really exists.
Clonaid Chief Executive Officer Brigitte Boisselier so far has refused to reveal where the alleged child lives and has not produced any evidence supporting the company's claim.
Clonaid attorney Jonathan Schwartz vowed to fight the order, saying Boisselier has always maintained that "the child has never been, was not born, was not conceived" in Florida.
"That's why we believe that this particular court is not the appropriate jurisdiction," he said.
During a hearing Wednesday, Judge John Frusciante, with the juvenile division of Broward County Circuit Court, ordered Boisselier and Clonaid Vice President Thomas Kaenzig to appear in court on whether the state of Florida should appoint a guardian for the alleged baby.
Kaenzig appeared via telephone from Las Vegas for Wednesday'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.
He said he is not sure where Boisselier is currently, but he finally said he believes she is in Canada.
"My concern here is simply for the protection of the child. My goal is not to remove the child from a parent. Do you understand that?" the judge said.
Kaenzig replied, "I understand your review, and I hope you can put yourself in the minds of the families who are waiting many years for a child."
At another point, Kaenzig said there is no registered company called Clonaid anywhere in the world, and he does not get paid a salary.
Frusciante said that before he can even consider appointing a guardian, he needs to know whether the child exists -- and Boisselier is the only one who can provide that answer. He said he will hold Boisselier and Kaenzig in contempt of court if they fail to show next week.
The case revolves around a lawsuit brought by Florida attorney Bernard Siegel, who wants the state to appoint a legal guardian for the alleged child. Siegel has accused Clonaid of exploiting the child.
"I don't think we can trust anyone's word for it, especially this company, that they've provided proper medical care or medical safety net for this child," Siegel said.
At a news conference in Broward County last month, Boisselier said a cloned baby called "Eve" had been born December 26 in an undisclosed location. The company was founded by the Raelian sect, which believes mankind was created by extraterrestrials.
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.