May 25, 2017

British Court Dismisses Case Against LDS Church President

LDS_ChurchSALT LAKE CITY — A British court has thrown out a complaint against the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson.

A disaffected former church member, Thomas Phillips, filed the complaint, claiming Pres. Monson committed fraud through false teachings. A British magistrate on Jan. 31 issued a summons for Pres. Monson to appear in a London court to answer questions about it.

However, Westminster Magistrates Court Senior District Judge Howard Riddle’s Thursday ruling states no secular court in England would ever put that before a jury.

The ruling also said that the court was being manipulated “to provide a high-profile forum to attack the religious beliefs of others. It is an abuse of the process of the court,” it said.

monson_LDS“Even if Mr. Monson has made the representations complained of, the basis for the complaint that he made them dishonestly (or intending a gain or a loss) is too tenuous. It is not sufficient to found a criminal prosecution,” the court ruling stated.

“It is obvious that this proposed prosecution attacks the doctrine and beliefs of the Mormon Church, and is aimed at those beliefs rather than any wrongdoing of Mr. Monson personally,” the judge’s ruling continued.

It says it’s “inevitable” that the prosecution would never reach a jury, even if Pres. Monson were to attend.

“To convict a jury would need to be sure the religious teachings of the Mormon Church are untrue or misleading. That proposition is at the heart of the case. No judge in a secular court in England and Wales would allow that issue to be put to a jury. It is non-justiciable.”

Church spokesman Cody Craynor issued a statement on the ruling:

“We are satisfied with the court’s ruling. This case was a misuse of the legal system and should never have been brought.”

By Linda Williams / KSL.com

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