France high court upholds Scientology fraud conviction - 2013-10-16
France's highest appeals court on Wednesday upheld the 2009 fraud conviction of the Church of Scientology [church website; JURIST news archive]. The Cour de Cassation [official website, in French], the country's court of final appeal for civil and criminal matters, rejected the organization's request [AFP report] that the conviction be overturned on the grounds it violated religious freedom. The original ruling convicted Scientology's Celebrity Centre and bookstore in Paris of fraud following numerous instances of pressuring members [AP report] into paying large sums for questionable services and materials. The Church of Scientology is not recognized as a religion under French law.