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Attempted murder charges reinstated in HIV-nondisclosure case

Justice determines previous ruling as flawed

An Ontario court reinstated four attempted murders charges on Nov 4 against a 30-year-old Ottawa man who did not disclose his HIV status to his sexual partners.

Justice Albert Roy overturned an earlier ruling, from July, which found there was no reasonable evidence to show that the accused intended to kill his sexual partners.

At the time, the court noted that medical advancements in HIV/AIDS treatment mean the disease is no longer inevitably fatal.

However, after Crown prosecutor Meghan Cunningham argued in a Sept 30 preliminary hearing that death is still a predictable consequence of HIV/AIDS, Roy ruled that the previous decision was flawed, finding sufficient evidence to reinstate the charges.

The accused is considering an appeal, and if it is overturned, the case will be one of the few times in Canada that a person accused of HIV nondisclosure will be tried for attempted murder. In 2009, Johnson Aziga became the first person in Canada to be convicted of first-degree murder charges for failing to disclose his HIV status to two sexual partners who later died.

The accused also faces 21 other charges and has been in protective custody since May 2010.