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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Where is the Clone?

Aired January 29, 2003 - 11:39   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to go live now to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. That's where we find John Zarrella covering a trial concerning issues of human cloning and where the alleged human clone baby might be.
John, good morning.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, and a huge development here this morning, Daryn, in a Broward County courthouse. On the witness stand right now, the CEO of Clonaid, which claims now to have cloned three babies. Baby Eve is the one in contention here this morning. That's Brigitte Boisselier on the stand. She was just questioned by Judge John Frusciante -- this is juvenile court -- as to the whereabouts of baby Eve, and she disclosed finally, for the first time ever, that she says baby Eve is in Israel.

She is now being questioned by Bernard Siegel, the attorney who brought the petition to the Broward County court immediately. Let's listen in to some of her comments now.

BRIGITTE BOISSELIER, CEO, CLONAID: I haven't seen the child. I have seen videos of the child, but I haven't seen myself the child.

BERNARD SIEGEL, ATTY.: Where was the -- where did the cloning activity take place?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, it's irrelevant to the question in consideration.

JOHN FRUSCIANTE, JUDGE: Yes, I'm going to find that you're moving beyond the necessary inquiry for this court. Do you have anything else?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sustain the objection.

SIEGEL: Your honor, I would ask at this time that the court supply the information that has been received today to ECF, so that they may contact the appropriate child welfare authorities in Israel to take further action if ECF deems to do so.

FRUSCIANTE: You're asking the court what?

SIEGEL: I'm asking the court to notify ECF of the information received in this courtroom today that this child is in Israel.

FRUSCIANTE: You have that ability, as well, do you not, council?

SIEGEL: I do.

FRUSCIANTE: OK, thank you very much. Miss Boisselier, it apparently -- from allegations or statements by others, specifically Mr. Kaenzig (ph), and if one would believe some of the reports in the press about your own position related to an alleged cloned child, that you care for the child and the child's safety.

BOISSELIER: Yes, I do.

FRUSCIANTE: You understand that this court is not seeking to take custody of the child, and if you have any communication with the parent of a cloned child, I want you to make it clear that this court is not seeking to take custody, but just to assure, to assure the safety of the child and that the appropriate medical care is being given to the child.

BOISSELIER: I hope they listen to that.

FRUSCIANTE: And I would expect that if you're involved, you would also want to make sure that the child is well taken care of. You cannot claim to pursue the cloning of children with impunity. As you do so...

ZARRELLA: So now again, the Judge John Frusciante continuing to question Brigitte Boisselier, the chairman and CEO of Clonaid, that shadowy company that has now claimed to have cloned three human babies, Baby Eve of course, that announcement had come in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida a couple of days after Christmas, and that's why Bernard Siegel, a local attorney here, went to Broward County to juvenile court, where we are again this morning. We were here a week ago, and asked the court to look into appointing a guardian for the child.

The judge had said I can't do that, until I establish that there is in fact a child and where the child is to see if I even have jurisdiction in the case.

Well today, the big news, and it is a major development, Brigitte Boisselier, the chairman of Clonaid testifying, taking the stand, saying that in fact, the child does exist. The child never lived in the United States, was born outside of the United States, and is in fact, in Israel.

So what will happen next? Anybody's guess as to what -- whether the child will ever be brought before the public or whether any independent doctors will get to look at the child.

But again, for the first time, divulging the whereabouts of the first human clone, and that country, we are told anyway, is Israel -- Daryn, Leon.

KAGAN: Well, I mean come on. It's an alleged child. We don't even know if the child exists. And even if it does, it's an alleged clone. We don't even know if it's the first human clone, and they claim there's two other babies. Are those supposed to be in the U.S., or are they supposed to someplace else around the world?

ZARRELLA: They're supposed to be outside the United States, as well. One was believed, the second clone, alleged cloned child, was supposed to be in the Netherlands, and the third was to a Japanese couple, and the whereabouts of that child was announced. That was announced in Canada last week.

So we don't know the whereabouts of those two alleged clones, but Boisselier taking the stand today is a fairly interesting development. It may be just to get more publicity for Clonaid, which of course is a corporation that really isn't a corporation. It's not incorporated anywhere in the United States, or for that matter, anywhere else in the world, and conducts its alleged cloning activities at places unknown.

So still obviously a lot of unanswered questions. Why Boisselier chose Israel if it isn't true, who knows. But at least there is a point from which to start.

Now she did say she has only seen videotape of the baby, and she has not herself seen the baby.

KAGAN: Yes, of course not.

ZARRELLA: And the judge has just now ruled he has no jurisdiction in the case, so that will end Broward County's involvement and probably the state of Florida's involvement in this first alleged cloned baby, baby Eve.

KAGAN: And I think for a lot of people who are watching might end Broward County's involvement, but not the last we will have heard of the woman you're seeing on your screen right now, people who are not shy to go after publicity, and I think a lot of people believe with a lack of any kind of evidence, they have exceeded their 15 minutes.

So with that, John, we will say thank you, and move on to other things.

John Zarrella in Broward County, in Ft. Lauderdale. Thank you.

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