NEWS
06/27/2011 09:05 EDT | Updated 08/27/2011 05:12 EDT

Johnson Aziga, HIV Killer, Threat To Reoffend: Prosecutor

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- HAMILTON - A man believed to be the first in Canada convicted of murder through HIV transmission has an abnormally high libido that could lead him to reoffend if he's eventually freed, court heard Monday.

Crown attorney Karen Shea made her closing submissions in the case of Johnson Aziga, a 54-year-old Ugandan immigrant who has been in jail since his 2003 arrest.

Aziga "will want to have sex when he is released from custody" and has a pattern of hiding his condition from women, she said.

"Unless he discloses his HIV status, the public is not protected," she said.

The Crown is seeking to have Aziga designated a dangerous offender, which could see him jailed indefinitely.

Aziga was convicted in 2009 of two counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of attempted aggravated sexual assault.

His convictions are related to 11 women with whom he had unprotected sex without telling them he had HIV. Seven of the women became infected, with two dying of AIDS-related cancers.

Aziga's sex drive "is head and shoulders above" the average man's and "knowing his need for sex is not going to be satisfied" could deter him from disclosing his HIV status to potential partners, Shea argued Monday.

"He didn't abstain from sex knowing what he knew (about having HIV), he didn't discuss his HIV status knowing what he knew and he didn't wear a condom knowing what he knew," she told the court.

Shea cited Aziga's estimate that he had sex with 50 to 100 women. An expert had testified that 20 or 30 is considered high.

Lawyers for the defence said there's no evidence their client's libido is unusual.

"It's mere speculation," Munyonzwe Hamalengwa said outside the courtroom. "Occasionally, people obviously boast that they went out with so many women, when in fact they went out with one or two."

What's more, he said, Aziga's libido will only grow weaker as he ages, making him less likely to seek sexual partners.

"Aziga will be (in custody) until his late 70s," he said. "By then, he won't be going around."

Shea argued aging doesn't guarantee a lower sex drive and noted the availability of drugs meant to boost sexual function.

More importantly, she said, Aziga still doesn't take responsibility for the irreparable harm and severe psychological damage he inflicted on the women with whom he had sex.

Nearly eight years after his arrest, the father of three "is still defiant, he is still defensive and he is still deflecting blame," Shea said.

Aziga previously admitted under cross-examination that by having unprotected sex with 11 women and not telling them he was HIV positive, he exposed them to the virus. But he has so far refused to accept that he infected the women, saying he can't know for sure.

While on the stand last month, Aziga also argued he should not have been convicted of murder and accused the jury of racism in finding him guilty.

He is appealing the murder convictions and if successful, he would be eligible for parole on the remaining convictions.

The defence will make its final arguments Wednesday in Hamilton. The judge is then expected to set a date to deliver his decision.