Last chance for Justice to Be Done and for the Truth to Prevail in Gregorian Bivolaru’s Trial
Romanian Justice, one step away from making another historical decision. Let’s see what kind of history they will choose to write now
We continue to assist to the court’s ever surprising decisions which leave room for a lot of suspicions regarding the honesty of the Romanian juridical system. The latest events in the court in Bucharest cast serious doubts upon the juridical system in Romania. Meanwhile the High Court of Cassation and Justice still considers that the overall results of the law enforcement in Romania are good! Yet the last MCV report from the EU on Romania’s justice system is far from being that optimistic. It is concurring more with the doubts upon the juridical system than the positive results mentioned by the overly optimistic Romanian authorities. It seems that Gregorian Bivolaru’s court case will become a milestone for the Romanian juridical system, a testing moment when the system has to choose: to respect the principles of justice in order to find the Truth or to dwell in the semi-obscurity of compromises and personal interests.
On June 14th 2013 we will see the last court meeting in an eight year long trial, with the accused being acquitted twice in the lower courts, the Supreme Court canceling the previous decisions and everything being judged again from scratch, witnesses talking in court about being forced or payed by prosecutors, prosecutors using illegally obtained materials, immense mediabolization of the defendant, political interference at almost all levels, a record number of demonstrations by supporters of yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru asking for a fair trial. And on top of all, the cancellation in the last moment of the international commission that was supposed to give Mr Bivolaru the chance to make his voice heard in the court. The reason for this cancellation was that the trial lasted too long and Sweden was too slow with their procedures. What an end to a trial that looked more like a circus than a democratic exercise of fairness and professionalism.
It is now the moment when this circus will come to an end. At least this part of the circus, for the real reasons for it are still in place.
To what end is up to the three judges that are now sealing the fate of Mr Gregorian Bivolaru, and together with him the faith of tens of thousand of people that will either carry the mark of being misunderstood and discriminated or will hold in their hearts the hope that Truth and Justice are not only some theories in Romania but a tangible ideal if one is persistent enough.
And after 40 years of unimaginable persecution, trials and abuses, the Romanian yoga movement MISA, whose spiritual mentor is Gregorian Bivolaru, is still standing and doing well. And in a way it is playing the role of reference point for all who have a different opinion that is still within the legal frame and who want to be accepted as they are. So far being different only causes these people a lot of trouble. But now the society will have to make its choice: multicultural civilization or tribal order.
From 1972 until today, yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru has passed through ongoing surveillance by the secret service, torture,abusive searches, political detention, abuse and forced psychiatric hospitalization for political reasons, and the confiscation of tens of thousands of books from his personal library. The political nature of the prosecutions against him during the communist regime was acknowledged in a final decision on 4th of July 2011, when the decision of file no. 48765/3/2010 was made public by the Bucharest Tribunal.
Over the years Gregorian has received several threatening letters and phone calls. He was the victim of two attempts on his life in 1994 and 1995. Then the Romanian authorities proved their complicity by failing to investigate these attempts in any decent way. The numerous threats he has received over time clearly show that there is much more going on than is mentioned in the media, under the constant pressure from the prosecutors and with the complicity of the competent (?) authorities.
The brief story of the current court file: how history is forged
The persecutions against MISA yoga school in Romania started with the events on 18th March 2004. The apartment of Mr Bivolaru was searched (devastated) simultaneously with 16 other private locations – the residences of some yoga students; 500 yogis were beaten, maltreated and threatened, 78 students taken by force to the prosecutor’s office and some forced to give false declarations under physical pressure and abuses; 20 trucks with personal belongings confiscated, 70 houses illegally put under restraint. The action of 2004 bears the code name “CHRIST”, a shocking name that undoubtedly reveals the involvement of certain hostile occult circles in the ideological repression against MISA yoga school and the yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru.
On 28th March, a new set-up took place: while at the Hungarian border, Mr Gregorian Bivolaru was violently dragged by two policemen towards the Nădlac exit of the country, while pictures were taken in order prove his alleged illegal attempt to cross the border. A court of judges was formed at night and the trial took place within closed doors. The right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence were not observed in any sense that night. He was arrested but won the case and was still abusively forced to remain for more days under arrest. Since a free Romanian citizen can exit the country without asking permission, one cannot illegally cross the border in these conditions. Yet in the current file the “illegal attempt to cross the border” was still in place until now.
On 31st May 2004, a new arrest warrant was issued – for sexual act with a minor, despite the fact that the “victim” denied this capacity, therefore he applied for political asylum in Sweden.
After this request, the Romanian authorities made the first warrant – on which an extradition request was based – which was very inconsistent, and came up with a new warrant in April 2005, on accusations of Karma Yoga mistaken with human trafficking.
Since March 2004 until now we have seen desperate attempts to put together prosecution files in order to incriminate him.
Gregorian Bivolaru currently lives in Sweden where he was granted political asylum in 2005 by the Swedish Supreme Court of Justice. Currently, his case is under monitor by independent organizations who fight for reforms in the Romanian Justice, like “Sojust”. In 21.10.2005, the Swedish Supreme Court rejected the romanians’ request for extradition because “there is a risk for Bivolaru, because of his religious beliefs, to be subjected to serious persecution in Romania”. Today, over eight years after that controversial political order, it appears that the statements of the Supreme Court of Sweden are as valid as ever. The way judges keep behaving in Gregorian Bivolaru’s trial shows that Swedes were absolutely right when they refused his extradition, justifying for such refusal strong suspicions about Romania’s ability to ensure a fair trial in this case (reason for which not only they rejected the extradition request submitted by the Romanian state, but they also gave him political asylum in order to protect him from Romanian authorities’ abuses, a case almost unique in the EU).
Do Such Acts Occur in a Democratic State?
On the 23rd of April 2010, the Sibiu Court ruled the acquittal of Gregorian Bivolaru in the 405/85/2005 file: Gregorian Bivolaru is innocent.
Later on, on 14th of March 2011 – Alba Iulia’s court of appeal has rejected the appeal formulated immediately after the innocence decision by the prosecutor’s office against the decision of acquittal of Gregorian Bivolaru. Alba Iulia Court of Appeal’s decision certified the fact that the acquittal of Gregorian Bivolaru was correct and legal, and therefore should remain valid, certifying Gregorian Bivolaru’s innocence. It represented a step forward towards justice and at least a moral reparation of the injustices and abuses to which Gregorian Bivolaru and the yoga movement in Romania have been subjected to by the Romanian authorities for so long. In the case now pending before the High Court of Cassation, Gregorian Bivolaru was already acquitted both by the trial court in Sibiu and by the Court of Appeal Alba-Iulia. The instances have found that the facts do not exist! Both judicial inquiries have revealed that the Prosecutor had orchestrated this file by political order and that there is not even one evidence showing that the defendant is guilty.
Instead of naturally checking the procedural methods and confirm the verdict, on the 12th of April 2012, the High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania unjustly annulled the verdicts of the Trial Court and the Court of Appeals, both of which ruled in favor of the defendant and ordered a complete retrial in the highest court.
Ever since, the retrial continued monthly in the Supreme Court, although MISA’s lawyers have asked for recusal and replacement of the judges, due to their illegalities and lack of fair trial possibilities. Instead the three judges did not dispose after the cassation to send the cause to be judged by the court, but quashed the two previous decisions and keep it to rejudge it themselves!
Romanian court repeatedly and severely broke the law. Some of the important abuses were determining mr Bivolaru’s lawyers to issue 5 complaints to the Supreme Council of Magistrates. The way these complaints were dealt with add another chapter to the (already long) list of abuses on this file. Two of the complaints were not receiving any answer even after passing the 100 days legal term for reply. In one of the other complaints the Supreme Council of Magistrates notified that there is indeed a need for a judiciary inspection because the complaint was referring to a severe structural error in the way the trial was organized (one of the three judges was not legally appointed in office!!!). This inspection however never took place and the complaint was therefore never finalized, being just ignored. Can a trial continue as nothing happened when the very integrity of the court is questioned? It seems that it can in Romania.
Another flagrant ”omission” in this court procedures was referring the phone recordings obtained under the act of national security and then used for a domestic incrimination. This is a severe mishandling of the evidences, a blatant violation of the penal code regulations. The complaint to the Supreme Council of Magistrates on this issue met a wall of silence. Maybe they were afraid to talk because they knew that someone is wiretapping them 😉
One Last (?) Outrageous Act by the Romanian ‘’Justice’’
The court decision to quash the two previous decisions of the court that found mr Bivolaru not guilty was taken for the reason to give mr Bivolaru a fair chance to present his testimony. But in the end, even if initially agreeing with the organization of an international commission for hearing in Sweden, the court decided to no longer hear him on grounds that the trial lasted too long and the Swedish authorities are too slow in dealing with this request!! In any democratic and civilized country, the right to be heard in court is highly regarded. But in the case of mr Bivolaru, this was not the case. Was it the wrong case or … the wrong country to deal with it?
Does Romanian Justice even Wishes at all to Find out the Truth in this Case?
Over years, it was noticed how the whole case involved more and more state institutions: prosecutors, police, gendarmes, politics, media. Losing in this way the control, the repressions and accusations have increased – in order to try to legitimate their previous behavior into a genuine kafka-ean unfoldment. The trial is now large, with many intricate wires involved behind the scene.
”This cover up of truth is another proof of communist mentalities at the highest levels, which proves the incapacity to guarantee citizens the respect of their fundamental rights.” – says Dr. Gabriel Andreescu, founder of the APADOR- Helsinki Committee (one of the first associations for the protection of human rights in Romania), who has made a comprehensive study of the MISA yoga school case on his own, and has also written an extraordinary book (The Repression of the Yoga Movement in the ‘80s) in two volumes, the second of which is currently being published.
If Mr. Gregorian Bivolaru would be declared now irrevocably innocent, it is obvious that at some point someone would have to pay for all the blatant abuses and persecution, especially the prosecutors and other representatives of the authorities. Finally, the reason for the huge amounts of money spent on surveillance and investigation of the Romanian yoga school should be explained. Furthermore, after the final victory of Gregorian Bivolaru in this trial, it would be expected that all the other set-up files would turn to dust. Can romanian authorities take such a big step? Can they undergo such a cleaning? Is Romania going to suddenly prove capable of being efficient in the act of law? Or instead, the big lie will continue without any shame?
We will soon see it. All that could be done, proved, forgiven and even loved , was done. It is now the time to take the decision …
There is still place and time for an act of real Justice but this will imply to take back all the abuses and wrongdoings. We can come out clean from this situation or we can come down with it into the abyss of compromise and abuses. It is now all up to the romanian authorities to play their last card. Let there be Good!
The abuses and illegalities perpetrated by the judges in Gregorian Bivolaru's case were reported to the Superior Council of the Magistracy (CSM). During the trial, several disciplinary complaints were filed at the Judiciary Inspection against the members of the judge...