Church to Stand Trial

Source: Toronto Globe and Mail
Date: September 22, 1990

Scientologists face theft charges

The Church of Scientology of Toronto and nine of its members have been ordered to stand trial in a marathon case that began with the seizure of documents in a police raid in 1983.

Judge William Babe of the Ontario Court's Provincial Division ordered the church and the nine members yesterday to stand trial on 11 counts of theft and breach of trust after preliminary hearing that lasted more than two years. They are set to appear in court on Oct. 11 to set a date for the trial.

Clayton Ruby, lawyer for the church, has filed an application with the Ontario Court's General Division asking that the case be dropped because of an unreasonable delay in proceeding with the charges, which were first laid in 1984. Mr. Ruby has also asked that the committal to trial be quashed because a religion and all of its members should not be forced to stand trial as a corporation.

The charges are related to the alleged theft of photocopied confidential documents from Ontario government and private offices.

The church, which claims seven million members world-wide and 7,000 in Southern Ontario, says such a prosecution of a church threatens the freedom of religion.

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