Prosecutor Calls for Ban of Scientology in France

The prosecutor in a French trial involving the Church of Scientology has asked that the group be banned in France and handed a hefty fine if convicted on fraud and other charges.

The persecutor's office has asked that fines of euro2 million ($2.77 million) be levied against the group and its French bookstore, if the two entities are found guilty on charges of organized fraud and illegal pharmaceutical activity. Such fines are exceptionally high by French standards.

Suspended prison sentences have also been requested against six of the group's French leaders, who are also being tried.

The group, considered a sect in France, has faced prosecution and difficulties in registering its activities in many countries.

The Paris trial began late last month.