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Man Admits Killing AIDS-Infected Professor

December 28, 1994

HAIFA, Israel (AP) _ A man admitted Wednesday that he killed an AIDS-infected professor, but told a court that fraud, not the possibility that he had been infected with the virus, was behind the murder.

Michel Vaknin, 33, told a Haifa court that he killed Yeshayahu Demner unintentionally in October during a ″swindle,″ but gave no details.

″Although we are talking about a homosexual (victim), that is not the background,″ Vaknin said. ″I am not a homosexual, and not a bisexual. What happened was an unintentional killing.″

Investigators believed initially that the killer was seeking revenge for being infected with the AIDS virus, HIV.

Vaknin’s lawyer, Khouri Ghassan, told The Associated Press that his client went to Demner’s apartment to blackmail him over an undisclosed matter. Vaknin said he was under the influence of drugs at the time and attacked Demner after he made sexual advances, Ghassan said.

Police, alerted by Demner’s colleagues at the Technion engineering university that he had been missing for several days, found his naked body with knife wounds in his apartment Oct. 29.

Detectives said documents in the apartment showed Demner learned he was HIV positive in September 1993. They said Demner spent the last year of his life trying to infect as many people as possible with the virus, advertising for sex and offering partners money to forego condoms.

Vaknin, who has been held without charges, was ordered detained for 15 more days for further questioning.

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