Archive Message - 1995

From braintree!!!pipex!!!sun4nl!xs4all!!not-for-mail Wed Sep 27 15:56:49 1995 Path: braintree!!!pipex!!!sun4nl!xs4all!!not-for-mail From: nobody@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology,theta.general,theta.wins Subject: news: TV Company wins scientology court case Date: 21 Sep 1995 20:30:29 +0200 Organization: RePLaY aND CoMPaNY UnLimited Lines: 60 Sender: Message-ID: <43sb05$> NNTP-Posting-Host: XComm: Replay may or may not approve of the content of this posting XComm: Report misuse of this automated service to <postmaster@REPLAY.COM> 9/20 Copyright 1995 PA News. Copying, storing, redistribution, retransmission, publication, transfer or commerical exploitation of this information is expressly forbidden. Magistrates today dismissed private summonses issued by the Church of Scientology over an investigative television programme's under-cover efforts to examine its activities. Lawyers for the London-based production company Twenty Twenty Television successfully argued before City of London magistrates that the summonses represented "an abuse of process". The Dianetics and Scientology Mission had brought the case under the Theft Act, alleging that in May and June the company, reporter Alison Braund and producer Claudia Milne dishonestly obtained entry to two courses held at the mission's centre in Poole, Dorset. It alleged that the journalists falsely representing the purpose of their participation as being exclusively religious and spiritual. The summonses were issued two days before a programme broadcast in Carlton Television's The Big Story series, presented by Dermot Murnaghan, in July. When the summonses were issued, Miss Milne said the Church of Scientology was trying to gag it. An attempt was made to have the programme banned before the broadcast, but the Attorney General rejected it. The Church of Scientology, which is based at East Grinstead, West Sussex, took out the private summonses after the Crown Prosecution Service declined to prosecute over its allegations. Today, Peter Thornton, for Twenty Twenty Television and the two women, told magistrates: "This is an abuse of process and the summonses should be dismissed." The bench agreed and costs of 15,410 were awarded against the prosecution. Magistrates' chairman Mrs Hinda Style said: "We consider there has been an abuse of process because the actions of the prosecution in bringing this particular prosecution pre-empted the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service and that taking out the summonses was oppressive." Afterwards Miss Braund said: "It's a great decision. It's a real victory for journalists doing their job in the interest of the public and a victory against pressure groups like the Church of Scientology who harass people through the courts. "I shall carry on investigating," declared Miss Braund who had used spectacles containing a small camera to film inside the Poole Mission as well as having a tape recorder concealed in her belt. A statement from the prosecution tonight said: "The Dianetics and Scientology Mission of Bournmouth is taking legal advice and considering seeking a judicial review of the magistrates' decision." Earlier, Mr Thornton told the court the religion involved "hypnotic elements, brainwashing and taking money". He said the prosecution did not know the CPS would not proceed when it obtained the summonses on July 11 and it obtained them because it realised the material was to be broadcast on July 13. Michael Hill QC, prosecuting, said there had been no attempt to mislead the court over the issuing of the summonses and its aim was not to stop the programme but to prevent the misuse of the material obtained by Miss Braund.


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