Scientology in Israel: Arson, Attempted Murder, Foreclosure, General Paranoia and....

Type4_PTS

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Scientology in Israel: Arson, Attempted Murder, Foreclosure, General Paranoia -- And a Visit by the Voice!

Tony Ortega of the Village Voice goes to Israel, visits the Scientology Center in Jaffa that their own attorney (allegedly) attempted to blow up.

Also he meets with Eitan Erez, an attorney and the Vice President of the Israeli Bar Association who is engaged in a legal battle with the cult.

And more! :biggrin:

The full article along with pictures are here:
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/11/scientology_in_israel_gur_finkelstein.php

Edit: For anyone previously unfamiliar with the issues that scientology has had in Israel you can
Google: Gor Finkelstein Scientology.
 
Last edited:

Lurker5

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Re: Scientology in Israel: Arson, Attempted Murder, Foreclosure, General Paranoia and

:bump2:
 

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Re: Scientology in Israel: Arson, Attempted Murder, Foreclosure, General Paranoia and

Update on this case.
From OCMB:

http://ocmb.xenu.net/ocmb/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=38748&sid=e91829205b637ccfee665ae132c9dfad

29th Dec 2011
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/12/scientology_goe.php

Story #2: Another win for Scientology, this time in Israel

We wrote last month about Naif Salati, the Arab Muslim contractor who is suing Scientology over its big "Ideal Org" project in Jaffa, Israel. Salati was hired by Gur Finkelstein, an attorney who represented himself as the sole owner of the run down Alhambra cinema in Jaffa, but who turned out to be a front for Scientology as it had the building restored to its 1930s glory. Finkelstein asked Salati to engage in a kickback scheme, and then ended up facing arson and murder charges in a wild series of events.

Salati, meanwhile, finally learned that it was Scientology who had hired him to renovate the building, but asked for a temporary foreclosure order on the property while he is still owed money, and sued Scientology.

We learned this week, however, that a pre-trial judge has vacated Salati's foreclosure order and awarded Scientology a foreclosure order on the assets of Salati Engineering in the amount of 6.5 million shekels. (This is not an order to pay; it's a claim on monies that may become at issue later in a trial.)

This reversal, the judge said, was warranted because Salati had engaged with Finkelstein in the kickback scheme, defrauding Scientology. The judge also ordered Scientology's entity in this case, Scientology International Reserve Trust, to post additional guarantees in the amount of 300,000 shekels.

Salati's attorney, Eitan Erez, is appealing the ruling, saying that the pre-trial judge made many mistakes. For example, Scientology claims that Salati didn't finish the job, leaving the building a mess. But Eitan has submitted a video we showed here at Runnin' Scared that came from Scientology's October meeting of the International Association of Scientologists. In that video, church leader David Miscavige can be seen boasting about what an amazing renovation job was done on the building, and that it is ready for business.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? Once again, Scientology's stalwart legal corps scores another victory and another upstat for the church. As we said in our previous story about him, Erez is a man who won't back down easily, and we expect him to pursue his appeal vigorously. We'll keep you updated.


Previous related material:
Scientology in Israel: Arson, Attempted Murder, Foreclosure, General Paranoia -- And a Visit by the Voice!
http://ocmb.xenu.net/ocmbviewtopic.php?p=415046#p415046

A translation of the appeal dox....

TA 18382-09-11 , NN Salati Engineering and Project Management Lted and brothers v. Finkelstein (detained) and others

Judge: Hagai Brenner

Applicant and Respondent
v.
Respondent and Applicant
Scientology International Reserve Trust

1. Before me there are two claims of the parties to cancel the foreclosure orders that were imposed on the assets of both parties.

2. The Claimant (Applciant) is N.N. Salati which is a construction company.

3. The respondent is Scientology International Reserve Trust, which is the monetary trust of the International Scientology Organisation, Organisation which unites the believers in the doctrine of Scientology (the "Trust").

4. In the heart of the conflict is the renovation of the Alhambra theather in Jaffa that was conducted by Salati. The works were done based on the contact signed between the parties on 19.9.2010 between Salati and Attorney Gur Finkelstein, which served as a trustee of the Trust. It is noteworhty that the building is registered in the land registry in the name of attorney Finkelstein, however, based on the trusteeship agreement between Finkelstein and the Trust, the ownership on the building belongs to the Trust . Attorney Finkelstein was arrested by the Israeli police in April 2011 on the suspicion that he ordered the arson on the building and an assassination attempt. He has been charged based on these allegations and is currently detained until the end of legal proceedings against him.

5. Salati claims that it is entitled to 7 609 133 for the works that it conducted in the building, for which it was only partially paid. This sum is comprised of additions to the contract and from the debt incurred for the repairs conducted after the arson.

6. The Trust requests to impose foreclosure on Salati's property, as it argues Salati owes it no less than 12 000 000 shekels, however for the purposes of jurisdiction, it only requests the sum of 8 000 000. The 8 000 000 are comprised of "blowing" the contract to reflect the kickback sheme between Finkelstein and Salati in order to defraud the Trust and for the works that were paid for but never implemented.

[Boring legal stuff.]

Para. 18

The parties agree that when the tender for the Jaffa Org was held, the offer of Salati Engineering was 12 200 000 shekel + VAT. There is no disagreement that Gur Finkelstein asked Salati to add 25% to this offer, without any justification, when the contract was signed. It was also agreed by Finkelstein and Salati that that latter would transfer the 25% in cash to Finkelstein. Consequently, the final agreement that was singed was for 14 724 000 shekel plus VAT. The same happened with the second contract that was singed between Finkelstein and Salati for the sum of 4 000 000. Naif Salati himself admitted that he transferred to Finkelstein sums of money.

19. Naif Salati claimed in his defence that he did not know that Finkelstein worked as a trustee of the Trust. We hold that this argument should be rejected because the claimant, i.e. Salati, admitted that Finkelstein told him that he was representing the trust. Accordingly, Salati should have know that the transfer of money to Finkelstein is fraud towards the Scientology Trust. On top of that, Salati's argument is not credible, since there is no legitimate reason for the person who ordered the job to "blow" the sum of the contract, only in order to get his own money back. Furthermore, this kickback sheme creates additional income for the contractor which is not registered in his books, because Naif Salati paid Finkelstein in cash, without any receipts. In such circumstances, Naif should have understood that these deeds were meant to defraud the Scientology Trust. Even if it will be proven that the Trust was negligent in supervising Attorney Finkelstein, it does not release Salati from his responsibility in participating in the fraudulent activities.

20 + 21. The Trust argues damages in the amount of 2 972 170 shekels for the payments that were made to Salati above the sum that was approved by the building inspector of the Trust. Salati responded by stating that it was paid more than the inspector approved, but less than what it deserved in practise. The parties agree that Salati was paid 14 778 370 shekels, despite of the fact that the Trust building inspector only approved the payment of 11 806 200. However, Salati claims that this sum of 14 778 370 contains the payment for the elevators that it paid for by itself and that cost 604 911 shekels. Monika Aslanis that was deposed on behalf of the Trust, confirmed that 604 911 was paid to Salati for the elevators. However, this only helps Salati's argument to a small extend, because it doesn't explain the entire difference between 14 778 370 and 11 806 200, but only makes the difference smaller by 604 911.

22. Consequently, the Scientology Trust's argument whereby it overpaid Salati the sum of 2 450 695 stands.

23. The result is that the Trust established that Salati owes it 6 450 695 shekels (4 000 000 for the fraud + 2 450 695 for over payments beyond what was approved by the inspector).

24. Now we'll turn to Salatis' monetary claims against the Trust.

25. As previously stated, the foreclosure on the Jaffa Org on behalf of Salati was limited to the amount of receipts that were approved by the Trust for the overall sum of 2 512 755, based on receipts 33, 34 and 35. Accordingly, even if I were to assume that the Trust owes Salati this sum, in the overall balance, the Salati still owes the Trust 3 937 940 shekels. This would suffice to keep the foreclosure in favour of the Trust on Salati's property and to cancel the foreclosure in favour of Salati on the property of the Trust.

26. However, it turned out that receipts 33, 34, 35 were not approved for payment by the inspector of the Trust, Gil Winels [can be spelt differently in English. Vinels, Vinles, Winles and so on].

27. The first receipt for the sum of 126 440, was never approved for payment. What was approved was the offer of payment [not sure how to say in English. When one party offers a price and the other accepts]. However, what matters is the bill submitted for final payment after the job is finished, as opposed to the offer which is given before the actual job is done. It is not clear when the actual job was completed. In any event, it's not enough to serve as the basis for the foreclosure in favour of Salati.

28. Receipts 34 and 36 were signed by the architect Yair Matalon that was hired to work on this project by the Trust. However, I was not shown any evidence that he was given the authority to approve the payment of any bills. The mere fact that he signed on the receipt does not constitute sufficient evidence for foreclosure. The authority to approve the payment was given to Vinels, and him only.

29. I'm not stating that Salati is not entitled to the payment of sums listed in receipts 33, 34, 36, I'm just stating that without the signature of Vinels, Salati has not succeeded to show credible evidence that would suffice to order a temporary foreclosure. The fact that Aslanis confirmed in her evidence that she approached inspector Vinels and asked him to confirm the payment for the works that Salati did in the three last months of him working on the project, is not enough. What matters is what was approved de facto/in reality by the authorised party as listed in the contract and not what was asked from this authorised party. In addition, it is not clear from Ms. Aslanis' answers to which debt she was referring to in her answer, and whether she transferred to Vinels the receipts with a recommendation to approve them, or she just transmitted them to him as a technical act, in order for Vinels to check and decide based on his expertise whether to approve them.

30. It is rather possible that during the hearing of evidence in the course of the trial on the merits, after inspector Vinels and architect Matalon testify, that Salati would be able to establish the debt owed to it by the Trust, however at this stage of the proceedings, she was not able to do so.

31. Consequently - the temporary foreclosure that was imposed on the Trust in favour of Salati cannot stand. [is hereby cancelled].

32. I have also concluded that in the event I will not order foreclosure on Salati's property, the Trust would have difficulties in collecting money from him, in the event that the trial would conclude in Trust's favour. Naif Salati himself confirmed that Salati N.N. is currently is not working on any projects. In addition, Salati N.N. does not own any properties that could be sold in order to pay the debt to the trust, in the event they win the trial.

32. Consequently, while paying attention to the fact that the Trust does not own any other property in Israel apart from the building [Org in Jaffa], and given the fact that we're dealing with a foreign incorporation, while it's corporate structure is unclear to the court at this stage it is appropriate to stenghten the guarantees that were a pre-condition for the imposition of foreclosure on the property of Salati. At the time, the temporary foreclosure was granted under the condition that the Trust posts 200 000 shekels worth of guarantees. It my view, currently, the Trust should post additional guarantees in the amount of 300 000 shekels, and to attach guarantees of two individuals whose gross monthly salary is no less than 15,000 shekels. The overall sum of guarantees would stand at 300 000 shekels. It is possible to convert personal guarantees to bank guarantees. The guarantees need to be posted within 14 days.

33. Accordingly, I hereby order that the foreclosure on Salati's property would stand in the amount of 6 450 695 shekels.

34. Foreclosure imposed on the Trust's building [Jaff Org] are hereby cancelled. This part of the decision will be issued witin 10 days.

35. Salati would pay the Trust legal expenses at the amount of 5000 shekels.

36. The Secretariat would send this decision to the parties.

==============
Thanks to Bozuri on WWP for the above....
ref: http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/ ... st-1998370
also with a summary...
Bozuri, posting on WWP wrote:
Just a quick summary of appeal:

- SIRT is not incorporated in Israel and has no legal personna to appear before court;

- SIRT, while being nothing more than a trust, is not allowed to own a building, until it is propery registered in Israel ;

- No documents were presented before the court that reveal the nature of SIRT's trust or corporation;

- SIRT has no legal address in Israel, it only uses the address of its counsel;

- Scientology calls itself a Church and a religion abroad, accordingly law concerning relgious groups should apply to her;

- Neil Levin, that signed the guarantee on behalf of Scientology has not presented any documents that he is indeed the authorized person on behalf of the church to do so;

- Even if Naif Salati is found responsible for participating in fraud, he is not responsible for the entire debt, as Finkelstein was the driving force behind the fraud;

- Scientology's argument whereby Salati did not finish the works is incorrect, as demonstrated by Miscavige's speech and footage from the Org (new evidence).

- Third party rights in favour of Scientology were registered in the land registry three months after Finkelstein got arrested, in July 2011, when Salati was already expelled from the property. Hence, Salati could not have known beforehand that he was defrauding Scientology, as he thought the sole owner of the property was Finkelstein.
 

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Re: Scientology in Israel: Arson, Attempted Murder, Foreclosure, General Paranoia and

Update: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/03/scientology_tol.php

Another Embarrassing Admission in Israel

By Tony Ortega Fri., Mar. 9 2012
Meanwhile, in Israel, another interesting admission by Scientology's attorneys. A couple of weeks ago, we told you about a surprising development in the church's fight with an Arab Muslim contractor who had renovated the Jaffa building it intends to be an "Ideal Org."

Naif Salati says that he finished the renovation but was shorted by the church, which used a front to hire him and never informed him who he was actually working for. Scientology claims that Salati never finished the renovation and doesn't deserve any more money.

In December, however, we published a video on our website which was recorded in October showing Scientology leader David Miscavige showing an extensive visual tour of the building, and telling a crowd of thousands that it was in magnificent shape, was completely renovated and staffed, and was "the new Church of Scientology in Israel" -- implying that it was open for business.

We pointed out that when we visited the building in November, it did appear to be renovated, but it wasn't open for business.

Anyway, that video we showed here was grabbed by Salati's attorney, who entered it into evidence in the lawsuit to show that even the church's leader is saying publicly that the renovation was completed and fabulous.

We reported that Scientology's own attorneys, in a subsequent court filing, admitted that the video footage was actually faked for the benefit of "donors." We pointed out the stunning fact that Scientology's own attorneys were saying in a court document that Miscavige had pulled a fast one and had shown fake footage for fundraising purposes.

Well, now a newspaper in Israel, Yediot Tel Aviv, has published a story about this incident, under the headline "The Glamorous Video, Photoshop, and the Donors." (Heh.)

And we're thrilled to see that reporter Yoav Malka managed to get a response from Michael Deker of Yehuda Rave and Associates, the attorneys working for the church:

"Since we are dealing with a film that is meant to get donors, significant defects were concealed on purpose. Naturally, if the clip is for the donors, I will not show them the holes in the floor, urine and feces of Salati's workers left on the roof, and I will not show the electric cords that we had to remove because of the severe negligence of Salati."

Well, the attorney can trash Salati all he wants, but every time he talks about concealing the truth for donors, a body thetan gets its wings.

We don't know if Salati will win his court case -- he's appealing a dismissal of his temporary foreclosure order by a district court -- but as long as he keeps getting admissions out of Scientology that David Miscavige is putting on dog and pony shows for the fundraising fun of it, well, we hope this case never ends.
 

Type4_PTS

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Re: Scientology in Israel: Arson, Attempted Murder, Foreclosure, General Paranoia and

Well, the attorney can trash Salati all he wants, but every time he talks about concealing the truth for donors, a body thetan gets its wings.


Nice! :biggrin:
 
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