HAMILTON - Defence lawyers for an HIV-positive man charged with two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly infecting women with the AIDS virus say they want a judge to throw out the charges.

Johnson Aziga's lawyers say their client has been behind bars for nearly five years and has suffered cruel and unusual punishment while in custody.

Aziga is believed to be the first person in Canada to be charged with murder for allegedly spreading HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Lawyers Davies Bagambiire and Selwyn Pieters want the Superior Court judge hearing the case to throw out the charges on the grounds Aziga's constitutional rights have been violated.

They allege the Ugandan-born Canadian citizen, 51, has often been held in solitary confinement during his detention, including one period lasting 60 days.

The trial for Aziga, who faces two counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of aggravated assault, is slated to begin Oct. 6.