Court uphold Scientology conviction

France – A fraud conviction previously handed down on the Church of Scientology in the country has been upheld on appeal.

Dating from 2009, the case against the church for organised fraud had left the body facing €600,000 in fines for gaining payments from adherents under false pretences in the 1990s. The case is seen as a landmark in France, where Scientology is regarded as a cult.

French prosecutors have previously pursued individual members of the organisation originally founded by the science fiction write L. Ron Hubbard (pictured), but the 2009 case is the first in which the entire organisation has been found liable for complaints from former followers.