Federal public prosecutors in Belgium will institute legal proceedings against the church of Scientology in that country and seek to recognize it as a criminal organization.
The church of Scientology -- which is not recognized as a faith in Belgium -- and several of its top-ranking members face charges including extortion, fraud, illegal practice of medicine and violation of privacy laws, according to Flanders News.
The complaint stems from an investigation of fraudulent labor contracts issued by the church of Scientology in an effort to recruit new volunteers and members. A judge ordered raids on Scientology offices in 2008 that allegedly uncovered a "wealth of evidence" that the organization had spied on and extorted money from its members, according to De Standaard.
An estimated 500 people belong to the church of Scientology in Belgium. The organization's European headquarters are located in Brussels.
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