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Nov 4, 2007 Belgium builds case against Scientology — St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Susan Taylor Martin
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Prosecutors call the church a "criminal organization." The church says it's a "witch hunt." BRUSSELS — It all began with a woman who wanted her money back. In 1997 a former member of the Church of Scientology, unhappy with courses she had taken, tried to get a refund of 700,000 Belgian francs - about $17,000. Authorities began looking into the church's finances and interviewing people. Now, 10 years and 76 cartons of documents later, prosecutors say the evidence points to one ...
Sep 6, 2007 Charges against Scientology in Belgium — Radio Netherlands
Sep 5, 2007 Belgium charges Scientologists with extortion — Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Sep 5, 2007 Belgium: Scientology Faces Criminal Charges — New York Times
New York Times
A Belgian prosecutor recommended that the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology stand trial on charges of fraud and extortion, after a 10-year investigation. The prosecutor, Jean-Claude Van Espen, said that up to 12 people from the church should face charges and that his inquiry had concluded that Scientology’s Brussels-based Europe office and its Belgian missions had conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts. The Church of Scientology said it would fight the charges.
Sep 5, 2007 Scientologists charged in Belgium — The Age (Australia)
Sep 5, 2007 Scientology branded a 'criminal organisation' and may face charges — The Scotsman (UK)
Sep 4, 2007 Belgian prosecutor recommends classifying Church of Scientology as criminal — JURIST
[JURIST] Belgian prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen said Tuesday that the Church of Scientology [church website] should be classified as a criminal organization after completing a 10-year investigation into the church's activities. Van Espen also recommended that the Church and a dozen of its adherents should face criminal charges of fraud and extortion in Belgium [JURIST news archive], where the Church is not deemed an official religious group [IRNA report]. The Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office also alleges that the Church of Scientology ...
Sep 4, 2007 Belgium Clamps Down on Scientology Church — Brussels Journal
The Belgian authorities have indicted the Belgian chapter of the Church of Scientology, the European headquarters of the Church, as well as 12 of its leading members. According to the office of Public Prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen Scientology is a criminal organization which has committed several crimes including extortion, fraud, violations of the trade law, violations of the privacy law and the illegal practice of medicine. On 30 September 1999, 120 Belgian police officers raided 25 Scientology offices and seized tons ...
Sep 4, 2007 Scientology church before the courts? — Flanders.news
The chance is real that several leading figures in the Church of Scientology in Belgium could be issued with court summonses. The Federal Judicial Authorities plan to prosecute the church for being a criminal organisation that has defrauded its members.
The judicial authorities opened their investigation into the Scientology movement in Belgium back in 1997, after having received tip-offs from ex-members of the church.
All aspects of the Scientology Church's practises were gone through with a fine tooth comb.
Now the ...
Sep 4, 2007 Scientology faces criminal charges — Associated Press
A Belgian prosecutor on Tuesday recommended that the U.S.-based Church of Scientology stand trial for fraud and extortion, following a 10-year investigation that concluded the group should be labeled a criminal organization. Scientology said it would fight the criminal charges recommended by investigating prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen, who said that up to 12 unidentified people should face charges. Van Espen's probe also concluded that Scientology's Brussels-based Europe office and its Belgian missions conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and ...
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