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Church told to pay court costs

Title: Church told to pay court costs
Date: Wednesday, 7 August 1968
Publisher: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Main source: link (107 KiB)

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THE Church of Scientology of California was told by Mr. Justice Fisher in the High Court yesterday that it cannot continue libel actions against three newspapers unless it pays their costs incurred in preliminary proceedings which it has now abandoned.

Costs are estimated at more than £500.

Mr. Justice Fisher had earlier been told by Mr. Leon Brittan, counsel for the church, that it was no longer seeking injunctions sought at a previous hearing, restraining further publication of the alleged libels pending the hearing of the full action.

The judge, sitting in the Vacation Court, said that the order for costs would also be against Mrs. Jane Kember, an official of the church, of Sharpthorne, near East Grinstead, in actions where she was concerned.

Referring to the church the Judge said: "They are a foreign corporation and I have no grounds for being satisfied that the defendants could successfully execute for the costs on property of the plaintiffs in this country."

Applications refused

The three newspapers concerned are the Daily Express, Sunday Mirror and News Of The World. They all deny libel.

At the previous hearing, last Thursday, ex-parte applications for injunctions against the three newspapers were refused by Mr. Justice Fisher.

The judge beard yesterday's case in private but opened the court to the Press for his judgment. He said that he had heard it in private because he thought it was "unnecessary" to hear applications for costs in open court.

Outside the court a legal spokesman for all the three newspapers said that they would "strongly resist" the forthcoming libel actions and would plead justification, fair comment and privilege.