The Church of Scientology handed over almost $3 million yesterday,
before the noon deadline, to pay off the largest libel award in
Casey Hill, a former crown attorney and now an Ontario Court Judge,
won the jury award in 1992. In upholding the decision, the Ontario
Court of Appeal said Hill was a victim of character assassination.
The award was also upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.
In 1984, Hill was falsely accused of misleading a judge and of
breaching a court order sealing more than 200 documents seized
after a raid on the church by the police.
The church wanted Hill charged with contempt of court and either
imprisoned or fined.
Although the church knew some of the allegations were untrue,
it continued to defend them as justified.
The contempt charges were dismissed but Hill felt his reputation
was in question, so he sued for libel.
The total award, including damages, interest, and costs was $2,953,624.
The initial deadline for payment of the award was extended from
Aug. 19 until yesterday.