FRENCH COURT CONVICTS SCIENTOLOGY OFFICIALS - 1996-11-23

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F43.png FRENCH COURT CONVICTS SCIENTOLOGY OFFICIALS November 23, 1996, Anne Swardson, Washington Post

A court convicted the Church of Scientology's former leader in France today of manslaughter in the suicide of a former adherent and gave him a stiffer prison sentence than requested by the prosecution.

The verdict, in the southeastern city of Lyon, was praised here as a major victory in France's fight against Scientology, which the government labels a sect. Fourteen other defendants were convicted of fraud-related charges in the same judgment and given suspended sentences. Eight were acquitted.

It is "extremely significant" that the judge sentenced Jean-Jacques Mazier to 18 months in prison and 18 months of a suspended sentence after the prosecution had asked for three years' suspended sentence, said Marie Geneve, president of the Paris-based Center Against Mental Manipulation. "It's the proof that the magistrates are beginning to grasp the importance of the problem." Mazier also was ordered to pay $100,000 in fines.


{{cite news | author = Anne Swardson | title = FRENCH COURT CONVICTS SCIENTOLOGY OFFICIALS | url = https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1996/11/23/french-court-convicts-scientology-officials/13fb498e-909d-4a47-90e7-097e4ea1251f/?utm_term=.54d0559d5bac | work = Washington Post | date = November 23, 1996 | accessdate = February 18, 2017 }}