Church of Scientology faces criminal fraud charges in France - 2008-09-08
A French judge on Monday ordered the Spiritual Association of the Church of Scientology (ASES - Celebrity Centre) to appear before the Paris Magistrates Court to face criminal charges. ASES has been unsuccessfully prosecuted in French courts before, and it along with an affiliated bookstore and seven church members must now defend against charges of organized fraud and the illegal practice of pharmacy. Prosecutors had asked the judge to drop the case, which originated in 1998 with a complaint from a woman who had spent about 200,000 francs ($42,600 US) on classes, books, medication and an electrometer after Scientologists stopped her on a Paris street and offered her a free personality test. Another individual and a French pharmacists' association later became involved in the case. AFP has more. Le Monde has local coverage, in French.