2009-02-16 17:22:00

Kazakh court bans scientology organization in Karaganda region

Karaganda, February 16, Interfax - The Economic Inter-District Court of Karaganda, the administrative center of the Karaganda region in Kazakhstan, has banned the Church of Scientology in the Karaganda region.

"The court ordered the liquidation of the Church of Scientology organization due to illegal entrepreneurship and profit-making. The court ruled to create a special commission to deal with the liquidation procedure," says the verdict read by Judge Zhaksylyk Baymoldin, an Interfax correspondent reports.

Upon studying the investigation materials, the court ruled to fully satisfy the prosecution's request to ban scientologist activities in the region and rejected a counter-lawsuit filed by the plaintiff, the judge said.

The materials collected during an audit of the Church of Scientology's activity in the Karaganda region included accounting documents and price lists for commercial services rendered by this organization.

The audit revealed that the Church of Scientology had earned about 30 million tenge in recent years (more than $200 thousand).

Meanwhile, the scientologists said they intend to appeal the verdict.

"We will not put up with attempts to violate our right to the freedom of religion in Kazakhstan," President of the Karaganda-based Church of Scientology Vadim Vitushkin said in a statement.