Scientology Crime Syndicate

French Justice Ministry investigates destruction of Scientology evidence CNN, Sep. 8, 1999


PARIS (AP) -- France's Justice Ministry opened an investigation Wednesday into the destruction of key evidence against the Church of Scientology in a Marseille court, according to judicial sources.

Marseille court officials alerted the Justice Ministry to the removal of more than three tons of evidence in August, the sources said on customary condition of anonymity.

The Marseille prosecutor's office said in a statement that the destruction of certain sealed files was a result of "negligence" by a court clerk and not an intentional act.

The documents relate to an investigation opened in 1990 against regional Scientology leaders in the southern coastal cities of Marseille and Nice for fraud and the illegal practice of medicine.

Seven of those leaders are scheduled to go on trial Sept. 20. The destruction of the evidence will not delay the trial, the sources said.


A Paris appeals court is expected to rule Sept. 29 on a similar case against the Church of Scientology in which evidence also disappeared.


Founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, the Los Angeles-based organization teaches that technology can expand the mind and help solve human problems.

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