An appeals court has upheld the criminal contempt orders against a Utah man who said he had manufactured a machine that could cure AIDS.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld orders issued in 1989 and 1994 by the U.S. District Court that prohibit Tim Themy-Kotronakis from selling his "Ster-O-Lizer" machines that he said could cure AIDS.Court documents said that despite the two orders forbidding him from promoting, selling or shipping the devices, Themy-Kotronakis sent a letter to a prospective investor advertising the AIDS Treating Machine as a "multi-billion dollar making opportunity.

He also sent another letter to Fidel Castro of Cuba claiming that the machine in fact treated AIDS.

The appeals court said the district court found that Themy-Kotronakis had committed criminal contempt by willfully disobeying the 1989 and 1994 orders.

The District Court in 1989 condemned the devices and issued a permanent injunction against Themy-Kotronakis that forbade him from directly or indirectly selling any device or any of its components until, among other things, the Food and Drug Administration had notified him that he was in compliance with good manufacturing practice regulations.

In 1994, both parties consented to a new court order that supplemented the 1989 order that forbade Themy-Kotronakis from "manufacturing, processing, labeling, packing, promoting, distributing or holding for sale the AIDS Treatment Machine or any other article or device intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease."

Themy-Kotronakis, who began serving a six-month jail sentence in October 1997, had asked that he be released early. But U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Greene ruled in December 1997 that Themy-Kotronakis serve the full sentence.