Belgium: Church of Scientology fraud and extortion trial begins in Brussels

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That is indeed devastating.

From the above link:

“The entire proceedings are declared inadmissible for a serious and irremediable breach of the right to a fair trial,” the presiding judge, Yves Regimont, said on Friday.

He criticised the investigators involved in an 18-year inquiry into Scientology in Belgium for what he said was prejudice, and prosecutors for being vague in their case against the religion.

“The defendants were prosecuted primarily because they were Scientologists,” Regimont added.
 

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Tony Ortega's story:

Belgian judge throws entire case against Scientology out of court on technicality

The judge in the Belgian trial of Scientology has thrown the whole case out on procedural grounds.

His ruling was delivered in three and a half hours at a terrific pace, and it threw out most charges because either the date for them to be prosecuted had expired; in some cases the judicial process had simply been inactive for too long.

Others charges were thrown out against two defendants because documents they had personally submitted to the prosecutor had gone missing.

While the prosecutor’s office had tried to argue during the trial that they were not important, but Judge Yves Régimont made it clear that this was not for him to decide.

http://tonyortega.org/2016/03/11/be...nst-scientology-out-of-court-on-technicality/
 

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Some comments:

Sid (Phil Jones) • 12 hours ago

And so the Scientologists win a court case, for a brief moment of joy, then head back to their miserable lives, and empty Orgs, bereft of family, friends, toilet paper, and any real future success within Scientology.
http://tonyortega.org/2016/03/11/be...-of-court-on-technicality/#comment-2563665501


Once_Born • an hour ago

They have never (as far as I know) achieved an unambiguous legal victory, ever. They have always avoided losing very unpromising cases by delaying and then, just before failure, setting for a large sum of money.

The CofS have huge sums of money at their command, and the best they can
is avoid failure. This says a lot about their behaviour.

They settled with a lot of people involved in this case, and it must have cost them a fortune, but they had little choice. The small CofS presence in Belgium is not significant - but a ban would have been received international media coverage, which would have included all that embarrassing evidence and judicial examination

Legally, they are in in desperate straits, and it's only their money which is keeping them afloat - but no amount of cash can now improve their public image.

If you're not a Scientologist, you are either unaware of who they are, or you know that they are mad as a bad of frogs, bad, and dangerous to know. In Belgium (and probably the rest of Europe) they have just fallen into a PR black hole.

They avoided losing. They hardly ever win.
http://tonyortega.org/2016/03/11/be...-of-court-on-technicality/#comment-2564725627


Observer • 11 hours ago

Maybe I'm just being a Pollyanna here, something I have never been accused of in my entire life, but I don't see this as a total loss. The judge questioned the defendants thoroughly, bringing to light a lot of damning information, and did not hesitate to apply the whip when it was needed. He called them on their acceptable truthing, mercilessly pinning them to the wall when they tried it. He cut through their bs like a razor. None of their tactics worked on him. He did not find them innocent.

It's telling that, as Andrea posted below, the news organizations are ignoring the Scientologist jubilation and interviewing the daylights out of the protesters.
http://tonyortega.org/2016/03/11/be...-of-court-on-technicality/#comment-2563693083


Andrea 'i-Betty' Garner • 12 hours ago

OSA spent all morning trying to drum up media for their expected celebrations, but they are queuing up here at our Scientology Kills display to speak to Victoria, Sam, Mary and the others. The Reuters guy asked me for a one word response as he was running past to file his story. I said "devastated - use that as your headline" :)
http://tonyortega.org/2016/03/11/be...-of-court-on-technicality/#comment-2563659140
 
Observer • 11 hours ago

Maybe I'm just being a Pollyanna here, something I have never been accused of in my entire life, but I don't see this as a total loss. The judge questioned the defendants thoroughly, bringing to light a lot of damning information, and did not hesitate to apply the whip when it was needed. He called them on their acceptable truthing, mercilessly pinning them to the wall when they tried it. He cut through their bs like a razor. None of their tactics worked on him. He did not find them innocent.

It's telling that, as Andrea posted below, the news organizations are ignoring the Scientologist jubilation and interviewing the daylights out of the protesters.
If the judge meant his criticism to be taken seriously, he should have fined them. It was a slap on the wrist in the long run. Really, strong words won't make the C of S change their behavior. Only the threat of losing their money stream.

The judge may have been outraged by the prosecution's case and it's presentation, however I think letting the C of S off the hook was equally egregious.

Mimsey
 

lotus

stubborn rebel sheep!
ref: Le soir

Le soir

Le procès, qui s’était ouvert le 23 octobre 2015, après 18 ans d’enquête, s’était déroulé sans parties civiles, les plaignants initiaux ayant retiré leur plainte lorsqu’ils ont été remboursés, et s’est résumé en un face-à-face tendu entre le parquet et les scientologues.

No more plaintiffs ,n o more of their complaint for the trial; the original complainants withdrew their complaint when they were paid :confused2:

CO$ justice business as usual:confused2:
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Leah Remini comments on result of Belgium Scientology trial

Leah Remini comments on result of Belgium Scientology trial.

https://twitter.com/LeahRemini/status/708357035872677888

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Chloe

Patron
I just did a quick search, so there might be another topic/post about this. Last friday the verdict of this trial has been made public. The Brussels criminal court in Brussels has ruled that the Scientology Church is not a criminal organisation.There was not enough evidence and some facts were barred.
(Sources: Newspapers 'De Morgen' and 'Standaard')
 
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secretiveoldfag

Silver Meritorious Patron
I read Tony Ortega's article (by Jonny Jakobsen) at great speed, and it seemed to me that the question of legal or illegal was not considered.

the judge rejected the case on the grounds of legal inadequacies in the content of the prosecution's case, the way it was presented, and the time lapse. Criminal activity was not considered at all, as far as I could see.

Also, much also was rejected because of Brussel's alleged status as a subsidiary of the Danish organisation though this appears to have relied on the cult's statement.

He also perceived that the individuals tried were tried because they were Scientologists. Of course the individuals involved were tried because they were Scientologists. This is 100 per cent of the content of the case.

Win or lose, the situation is not much different, IMO. The country has been thoroughly alerted to the criminal nature of Scientology; its reputation at the heart of the EU is equally compromised, and a fine of 200,000 euros is peanuts.

http://tonyortega.org/2016/03/11/be...logy-out-of-court-on-technicality/#more-29324
 
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secretiveoldfag

Silver Meritorious Patron
Just to add that the CoS did not win anything. The case was dismissed on legal grounds and the complaints against the cult were not heard. Whether or not there is still an appeal procedure to go through I don't know but if there is then the prosecutor will almost certainly challenge the judge's decisions. Evidently there is considerable divergence of opinion about this case and its legal status, long before any other evidence is heard.

All we have so far is the opinion of one judge about the status of the case brought by the state prosecutor.
 
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