From the nytimes.com article: New French Law Blocks Scientology Dissolution, "A new French law means the Church of Scientology cannot be dissolved in France even if it is convicted of fraud, it has emerged during a trial of the organization.
A prosecutor has recommended that a Paris court dissolve the church's French branch, which has been charged with fraud after complaints by former members who say they gave huge sums to the church for spiritual classes and 'purification packs'.
Whatever the ruling, under a legislative reform passed just before the start of the trial in May, it is no longer possible to punish a fraudulent organization with dissolution".
Paging Inspector Clueso To The White Courtesy Phone
Thanks to all the translation efforts at WWP, it seems the French have a big FAT red flag waving in the ongoing prosecution of Scientology case.
• 1) Somehow, miraculously, the disappearance of the sentence of dissolution for legal entities in fraud cases (simplification and clarification of the law, adopted May 12) went unnoticed being buried in text was dense and very long. But by it missing, the law contained changes of pure form without altering anything, and on the other hand, it introduced very important and substantial changes.
• 2) They can't seem to nail down exactly who made those changes because it went through so many drafts. Adopted two weeks before the trial at which the Church of Scientology risked the penalty of dissolution, this provision went unnoticed. Despite the numerous exchanges between parliamentarians and representatives of the Ministry of Justice, no questions were ever raised about the article.
The above gleaned from the following translated WWP posts. [comment: I suggest reading them all to get the full picture of what's going on over there. The American press has been pretty much useless on this event.]
• There must have been Lobbying
• Scientology asks for Reopening of the Court Hearings
• Questions Surround the Origin of an Article in the Law
• One Jurist Raised an Alert About the Change in the Law
What Are The Odds?
This isn't the first time Scientology has got a BIG BREAK in an ongoing prosecution of their group in France.
In 1999,[almost 10 years to the day] seven Scientologists are accused of fraud. They are alleged to have demanded outrageous prices for "purification cures" and other services. [Sound familiar?]
The defense pled to suspend the process because essential evidence was missing. The written material, according to Justice Ministry statements, had been mistakenly destroyed after an initial process against the Scientologists had been suspended in 1995 because of administrative errors. Records for the proceedings are missing. How they disappeared is unexplained. [see video below]
Get out of jail-free-card. Twice. I'd love to see the odds a Vegas bookie would give on this happening twice in one century, to the same group, up on essentially the same charges, in the same country.
Scientology - Above the Law?
French TV documentary which was dubbed into English by an Australian TV network. Among things covered is a court case in which documents were stolen from the French courts by Scientologists. An excellent look into the cult and some of its criminal and subversive tactics.