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Church spy web alleged / Scientologists' trial

Title: Church spy web alleged / Scientologists' trial
Date: Wednesday, 22 April 1992
Publisher: Toronto Sun (Canada)
Author: Bill Dunphy
Main source: link (41 KiB)

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The Church of Scientology of Toronto and five adherents are on trial on charges they ran a spy network that infiltrated three police forces and the attorney-general's office.

A jury yesterday heard Crown attorney James Stewart outline a spy network that saw members of the church spiriting files out of police and government buildings for copying.

The five counts of criminal breach of trust faced by Scientology and the five co-accused stem from activities alleged to have occured from 1974 to 1976. Stewart said Scientology officials — some trained in a "spy school" in England — ran a network of plants that obtained jobs with the RCMP, the OPP, Metro Police and the A-G's office.

Stewart then told the jury his first five main witnesses were former Scientology officials who were testifying under promises of immunity from prosecution.

Mr. Justice James Southey permitted three defence counsel to also make opening addresses to the jury.

Clayton Ruby, representing the corporation Church of Scientology of Toronto, blamed the allegations of a spy network on a "small band of criminals ... who captured the church for a time."

"These key witnesses are confessed liars and criminals, accomplished, trained liars," he said.

Scientology, he indicated, had wrested control back from this band.