Saudi thieves take note: A 48-year-old New Zealander who three weeks ago underwent the first hand-transplant in decades held a press conference Thursday to confirm that the new limb felt just like his old one. Hallam lost his hand in 1984, in what he told French doctors was a logging accident. The accident was later revealed to have occurred in a New Zealand prison, where Hallam had been serving a two-year sentence for fraud. "Embarrassed as they might have been, the surgeons had no grounds for canceling the operation," says TIME correspondent Michael D. Lemonick. "A criminal past is no reason to deny someone medical treatment -- even a treatment that is purely experimental." Hallam will get to raise his new hand in an Australian court next January when he faces seven more fraud counts -- that's if he doesn't use his new fingerprints to proclaim his innocence.