Scientology trial opens in France - 1999-09-20
Seven members of the Church of Scientology have gone on trial in France on charges of fraud.
The trial, in the southern city of Marseille, has led to renewed calls for the banning of Scientology in France, which officially regards it as a dangerous cult rather than a religion.
The charges against the seven defendants - who are alleged to have obtained large sums of money from fellow sect-members by fraudulent means - date back to the late 1980s.
The case opened amid controversy over the disappearance of 50 boxes of evidence from the Marseille prosecutor's office.