Woman ignored Aids risk, Cyprus trial told

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The Independent Online
The Cypriot fisherman accused by his former British lover of knowingly giving her Aids told police investigating the case that she already had the virus.

Pavlos Georgiou said in a written statement that divorcee Janette Pink insisted that they have unprotected sex even after she knew that he was HIV positive, the district court in Lanarca, Cyprus, was told. "In my opinion, only a woman who is also a carrier of Aids would do this," he said in his statement.

Mrs Pink, 45, alleged last week that Mr Georgiou, 40, had lied to her that he did not have the virus when they began an affair shortly after she went to live on the Greek island in 1993.

The police statement was produced as part of the prosecution evidence against Mr Georgiou, despite protests that it was inadmissible.

Tassos Economou, for the defence, said police had only taken a statement because of pressure brought by the British government for his client to be charged. He said the fisherman was told by police officers that the statement was a formality to close the case, and was taken without the police having reasonable suspicion or testimony linking Mr Georgiou with the allegations made by Mrs Pink.

The objections were overruled by Judge Antonis Liatsos, who said that the statement had been given willingly.

Mr Georgiou told police: "Anyone who says that I had sex with Janette Pink without her knowing I was HIV positive is a liar." He said that both his daughter and his mother-in-law had told Mrs Pink he was an Aids carrier and that his wife Martha had died of Aids in August 1994.

Mrs Pink said in her evidence that she had been told by Mr Georgiou that his wife was dying from leukaemia.

In his statement, Mr Georgiou said that Mrs Pink knew he had Aids before there was sexual contact. He did not tell her he was HIV-positive when they first met, but later when she asked him what had been said to her by his daughter and mother-in-law, he said he was an Aids carrier.

He said he was surprised by her allegations, which he read in newspapers. "Janette knew I was an Aids carrier and continued to be with me."

Mr Georgiou tested HIV-positive in June 1992 after his wife told him she had the virus.

He and Mrs Pink continued to have sex without precautions and at the beginning of 1996 she became pregnant. "I forget to mention that before Janette became pregnant she had tested positive at a clinic."

He said doctors advised her to have a termination as it was likely her child would be born with Aids. She followed their advice and had an abortion in Nicosia.

Earlier yesterday, Aids specialist Dr Athenoula Neou supported Mrs Pink's earlier evidence that she did not have the virus during the early part of the relationship.

Dr Neou told the court Mrs Pink visited her in March 1994 requesting a test for Aids and venereal disease. Both were negative. She returned to the same clinic six months later, but this time the test was positive.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

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