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article imageFrench Prosecutor asks for dissolution of Scientology in France

By Michael Cosgrove     Jun 15, 2009 in World
In an unprecedented move that has taken France and Scientologists completely by surprise, the Scientology trial has taken a new turn, and the severity of the sentences being demanded is leading commentators to envision the end of Scientology in France.
The Public Prosecutor in the Scientology trial being held in Paris has demanded that the Church be made illegal in France. The Church is accused of organised fraud, as are some of its organisations, who may face fines of up to two million Euros.
The trial is the result of a joint court case brought by several individuals who have accused the Church of abusive and fraudulent financial practices as well as mental abuse.
The Prosecutor’s trial representatives, Maud Morel-Coujard et Nicolas Baïeto, are also said by French daily Le Figaro to have demanded today that the Spiritual Association of the Church, ‘Celebrity Centre,’ and the Church’s library receive fines of 2 million euros each.
These are extremely heavy sentence recommendations, even for France, a heavily secular country, which has never hidden its suspicions concerning the Church of Scientology.
At the same time, a 150 000€ fine, four years suspended prison and five years of privation of civic rights were demanded for the head of the Celebrity Centre, Alain Rosenberg. Suspended prison sentences and heavy fines were also recommended for five other individual Scientology Church members.
This decisive trial phase means that the Church of Scientology may soon face obligatory dissolution in France, after a trial which has seen it and its members facing the sort of tough questioning it has not experienced up to now.
This article will be updated for the next six hours.
Update.
The French government has asked Iranian authorities to do more to protect the French Embassy, which is the object of violent demonstrations at this time.
(More details on the trial can be read here)
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