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News Archives 5141-5160
Number Title Post Date
5141 One Click Stats, November 2011 01/12/2011 13:01:31
5142 Criminal Attorney Speaks for Controversial CFS Researcher 06/12/2011 14:25:19
5143 Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism? 06/12/2011 14:27:12
5144 Should Boys Be Given the HPV Vaccine? Follow The Money 06/12/2011 14:30:11
5145 Big Pharma’s Scam: U.S. Drug companies rig medication studies 06/12/2011 14:34:36
5146 Psychiatric patients unaware of prescription drug risks 06/12/2011 14:36:07
5147 Julian Assange wins right to pursue extradition fight 06/12/2011 14:37:15
5148 Occupy London - Time to 'Occupy Everywhere' on 15 December 06/12/2011 14:39:07
5149 Revealed: secret police memo labels #occupy ‘terrorists’ 06/12/2011 14:45:24
5150 Thug cop to be given £36,000 after assaulting 60 year-old woman 06/12/2011 14:47:03
5151 UK.gov to require YOU to opt out of data-sharing plan with drug firms 06/12/2011 14:51:32
5152 PR uncovered: Top lobbyists boast of how they influence the UK Prime Minister 06/12/2011 14:54:05
5153 Rioters say anger with police fuelled summer unrest 06/12/2011 14:55:37
5154 Why Are U.S Cops Losing Their Jobs for Questioning the Drug War? 08/12/2011 17:40:35
5155 French Atos Unfit For British Purpose 08/12/2011 17:44:17
5156 UK ConDem government abandons civil liberties pledge 08/12/2011 17:45:25
5157 Archbishop warns of risk of more riots by young 08/12/2011 17:46:36
5158 Bent Britain lobbygate faces toothless PR trade body 08/12/2011 17:53:51
5159 Pfizer pays $72M to women from drug causing breast cancer 08/12/2011 18:01:47
5160 ‘Prozac defence’ stands in Manitoba teen’s murder case 08/12/2011 18:03:11

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Criminal Attorney Speaks for Controversial CFS Researcher
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Criminal Attorney Speaks for Controversial CFS Researcher

on 5 December 2011

When Judy Mikovits, a researcher well-known for her controversial studies linking a mouse retrovirus to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), was jailed on a felony charge of being a fugitive from justice, she could not defend herself from behind bars and her criminal attorney chose not to comment. But now she has a new attorney, Scott Freeman, and he has plenty to say about her case. "She maintains her innocence and we anticipate defending her aggressively," says Freeman, who is based in Reno, Nevada. "Obviously, she's not someone who is a criminal."

Mikovits is being charged with possessing stolen property from the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI), which is located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. Mikovits worked at WPI for 4 years until being fired in September for insubordination. She helped bring the fledgling WPI to fame with a report she co-authored that ran in Science 2 years ago that tied a mouse retrovirus called XMRV to CFS.

According to an affidavit from a campus police officer that led to her arrest warrant, she told a lab assistant to "illegally enter her former office" and retrieve lab notebooks, a laptop computer, flash drives and correspondence that belonged to the institute. On 18 November, Mikovits, who lives in Ventura, California, was arrested and jailed there on a felony charge of being a fugitive from justice. Bail was set at $100,000 cash. "The original warrant out was extremely dramatic to have a $100,000 cash-only bail for somebody who has no history of being a risk to the community or a risk of flight," says Freeman. "So those are the very significant issues that we're going to be investigating. Why is she not being treated like everybody else?"

Mikovits made bail on 22 November, and turned over the disputed lab notebooks to the Ventura County police. She went to Reno the next day and surrendered to the Washoe County jail, which freed her on her own recognizance.

Freeman argues that, legally speaking, it's unimportant how she obtained the material in dispute. "The question is whether or not she had the criminal intent to permanently deprive the institute of property that belonged to them," he says, adding that he hopes to get the case dismissed.

Mikovits is also the subject of a civil case filed 4 November by WPI over the same property, which it says was "misappropriated." In that case, WPI alleges that she "masterminded" the theft of the property and submitted affidavits from the lab assistant who said he took the material at her behest. A civil attorney for Mikovits initially denied that she possessed the material.

Mikovits will have an arraignment hearing on 10 January, but Freeman says that he will simply request a new court date. "Part of the challenge in representing someone like her is essentially that we're taking a scientist with her extensive credentials and trying to educate her as a client on what it's like to be a defendant in a criminal case," says Freeman. "This is an area she never thought she'd be in in her life, and she's fighting for her life."

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Related Links:
* Chronic fatigue syndrome researcher Judy Mikovits arrested
Retraction Watch
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