Paris appeals court rebuffs Scientologists' bid for top French court to rule on fraud case

Associated Press/November 8, 2011

Paris -- A Paris appeals court has rejected a bid by the Church of Scientology to get the group's fraud conviction thrown out because the case has taken too long.

The lawyers had asked the appeals court to allow France's highest judicial body, the Court of Cassation, to rule on whether too much time had elapsed since the alleged fraud took place in the case dating to 1998.

The refusal of that request means the appeals hearing will move forward. It is set to finish on Dec. 1.

The court is reviewing the 2009 conviction of the church's French branch, its bookstore and six of its leaders.

The group is accused of pressuring members into paying large sums for questionable remedies and using "commercial harassment" against recruits.

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