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Court of appeal rejects bid to free jailed Scientologists

Title: Court of appeal rejects bid to free jailed Scientologists
Date: Wednesday, 25 June 1980
Publisher: Associated Press
Main source:

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A lawyer representing three jailed Scientologists says he will appeal to the state Supreme Court after losing another bid to free his clients on grounds their imprisonment is illegal.

Harold De Young, Philip Deland and Donald White, of the Riverside Scientology mission, have been in jail since Friday for refusing to answer questions before the county grand jury.

Attorney Howard Gillingham on Tuesday made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Court of Appeal in San Bernardino to free the three on a writ of habeas corpus, claiming their imprisonment is illegal.

All three men have refused to answer questions about an alleged multimillion-dollar loan fraud scheme involving church officers who purportedly coached parishoners to lie on loan applications to get money for Scientology courses.

Gillingham's writ claims the jail sentences are illegal because authorities failed to disclose whether electronic surveillance used against the church and its attorneys. Law enforcement officials deny using any such devices.

The writ also said the grand jury has relid on evidence from an allegedly illegal search of the Riverside mission.

Gillingham also charged that his clients' rights of freedom of religion, association, speech and due process were violated by grand jury questions about fellow church members.

The three were ordered to talk after being granted immunity from prosecution, preventing them from claiming the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

Three courts, including the Court of Appeal and the state Supreme Court, already have refused to overturn the contempt citations handed down May 1 by Riverside Superior Court Judge Gerald Schulte.

The writ of habeas corpus in effect began the appeal process anew.