Scientology Crime Syndicate

Sept. 29, 1999

French Scientologists Case Goes On

.c The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) - A Paris court decided Wednesday to go ahead with an investigation of 16 Scientologists despite the disappearance of evidence in the case, judicial sources said.

The court will leave the inquiry in the hands of Judge Marie-Paule Morrachini despite the loss of hundreds of legal documents, the judicial sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The 16 members of the Church of Scientology are being investigated for fraud and illegal practice of medicine. The investigation stems from a complaint by a former Scientologist, Juan Esteban Cordero. He accused the Church of Scientology of "progressive mental conditioning" that led him to spend more than $177,000 on various Scientology-related courses.


Asked about the disappearance, Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou said two weeks ago that it "is perhaps not an error." She said she has requested more information from inspectors.


The Paris case is the second Scientology case in France in which key documents have disappeared: About 3,000 pounds of evidence to be used in a trial in Marseille vanished. Guigou said a court clerk mistakenly threw them away.


Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.


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