Feeble French Justice Lets Scientology Off the Hook: Die Welt, Germany
Days ago, a long-awaited verdict was handed down in the French criminal trial of the Church of Scientology. In the opinion of German columnist Dietrich Alexander of the newspaper Die Welt, the French branch of Scientology got off easy.
For Die Welt, Dietrich Alexander explains why the group wasn’t dissolved – and why in his view, French justice has failed:
“First the legislative: As part of a package of reforms to simplify the legal code, an element of the criminal law that would have allowed for a ban was “mistakenly” removed. Secondly, the socio-political cause: the court could have adjourned without rendering judgment until the missing element of the criminal law was reinstated, but there was evidently a lack of will. A ban, the court explained, would have pushed the sect underground, making it uncontrollable.
“Although Scientology was convicted of criminal activity, the French judiciary failed to draw the proper conclusions. Scientology can pay these fines out of petty cash and continue to conduct its quasi-expropriations. Not a glorious day for justice. Congratulations, Scientology!”
By Dietrich Alexander
Translated By Jonathan Lobsien
October 29, 2009
Germany – Die Welt – Original Article (Germany)
The spokeswoman for French Scientology dug deep into her vault of combat rhetoric: the verdict of the Criminal Court of Paris is part of a “modern inquisition.” The judges ordered the sect, which claims to be a church, to pay €600,000 [$884,000] for “fraud in an organized gang,” and four members of the leadership to parole.
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