Brethren rejects crime link claim

AAP, Australia/July 30, 2008

The Exclusive Brethren says three Indian sisters have failed in an effort to bring criminal action against the sect.

In a statement, the Exclusive Brethren said the High Court in Canberra had refused to accept a writ the women tried to file today.

The writ alleged the controversial group had been involved in fraud and kidnapping.

The women, who yesterday said they were on the run from the Brethren, also claimed it was involved in money laundering and immigration fraud in New Zealand, and bribing police and members of the judiciary in India.

The Exclusive Brethren denies the allegations.

"The sisters' allegations, contained in media reports today, are absolutely refuted in every detail by the church,'' the Exclusive Brethren said in the statement issued via a Sydney-based public relations company.

"There is not the slightest vestige of truth in the claims made by the sisters, who reside in New Zealand.''

The sect said it understood the High Court refused to accept the writ on the grounds it did not properly invoke the jurisdiction of the court and was not in the correct form.

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