The High Stakes in the Bivolaru Case at the Court of Justice in Paris – part 1
Today, May 11th 2016, the judge at the Court of Cassation in Paris was to announce the verdict on file 2016/01312 regarding the execution of the European arrest warrant in the case of yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru. This decision can release Gregorian Bivolaru from arrest or it can send him to prison in Romania, to extremely harsh and inhuman detention conditions, and, furthermore, it can endanger his physical integrity and even his life because of the furious media lynching campaign that has been launched against him over the last few months. However, the judge has still not delivered his verdict. Instead, today’s hearing ended with him postponing the verdict for a later date.
Apparently this decision is a strictly juridical one and it should not be a big deal. However, considering official data, the facts surrounding this decision point to unjustifiably high stakes.
At a first glance the case seems quite easy: in 2004, yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru was accused of sexual relations with a minor. In 2013, the trial reached its final phase – the High Court of Cassation and Justice in Romania, where Gregorian Bivolaru was sentenced to six years in prison for so-called sexual relations with a minor; the sentence was not appealable. Due to the fact that he was not in the country at the time, as he was living in Sweden where he had already obtained the status of political refugee, the judge issued a European arrest warrant. Three years later, and one month after the name of Gregorian Bivolaru appeared (totally abusively) on the list of Europe’s ten most wanted criminals, he was arrested in Paris. The French judge of inquiry must now decide if he will execute the European arrest warrant and send Gregorian Bivolaru to Romania to serve his six-year prison sentence.
Nevertheless, putting together all the significant events and looking at them from the correct perspective, it becomes obvious that this decision in France involves much higher stakes and the judge’s job is not an easy one.
First of all, it is important to remember that since January 2nd 2006, Gregorian Bivolaru has been protected by the Swedish state, according to the Geneva convention. At the end of 2005, the Supreme Court of Sweden decided, after many months of serious investigation, to grant Gregorian Bivolaru the status of political refugee. Shortly afterwards, the Swedish government offered him permanent residency in Sweden and gave him the specific travel documents for one who has been granted political asylum. The reasons for this somewhat radical decision are: the Romanian accusations, the fact that the flagrant way in which Gregorian Bivolaru’s case was dealt with broke the conditions of a fair trial, and the fact that Gregorian Bivolaru’s life would be endangered if he returned to Romania. Considering that Sweden ratified Romania’s treaty of adhering to the European Union in the same year this decision was taken, it is clear that the granting of this political asylum was done with great caution by the Swedish authorities and only certain obviously strong arguments could have determined them to take this decision.
Further on, the unfolding of events is significant, if we look at the bigger picture.
From 2000 to 2002, the prosecution requested the phones of Gregorian Bivolaru and his companions be tapped, for reasons of national security. After several debates, the High Court of Cassation and Justice in Romania decided that from 2002, phone interception is allowed on the grounds of an attempt to breach national security. In 2004, the prosecutors received a search warrant (and the support of the special forces!) to search several locations where students of MISA yoga courses lived. The reason: the alleged existence of cybercrimes! In this way, the biggest police operation in Romania since 1989 was triggered, and it was named, not by coincidence, “OPERATION CHRIST”. For some it was obvious that the so-called CHRIST of this gigantic operation was none other than the yoga teacher himself – Gregorian Bivolaru. As a consequence of this mammoth police action, a minor (of 17 years old) was brought to the police station and forced to declare, while being threatened, that she had sexual relations with Gregorian Bivolaru. The prosecutors threatened the minor with arrest and told her she would never see her family again, convincing her that if she did not declare everything the prosecutor dictated she write she would commit a crime. Due to the fear induced by the threats of the authorities, combined with the physical and psychological exhaustion resulting from many hours of persecution and abuse, and from being held in the prosecutor’s office, MADALINA DUMITRU was forced to write a declaration that neither reflected the reality, nor her will. Consequently, she declared she knew Gregorian Bivolaru since 2001 (although it was proven she met him and started following the yoga course in the autumn of 2002, when she was already 16). She was also forced to declare that throughout 2001 she participated in a school transfer and moved to Bucharest, whereas the school transfer papers prove that this was done from 2002 to 2003; also, that she had sexual relations with him, that he was her first man, even if in fact her first man and lover was another man called Grigore Tiplea, who confirmed this to the judges. On that account, none of what she was forced to declare was true! Later on, Madalina Dumitru proved in various ways (with official documents, witnesses, pictures and memoires) that everything the prosecutors forced her to declare during the night of that brutal search was made up of lies dictated by the prosecutors themselves.
Then, falsely stating that Gregorian Bivolaru was her yoga teacher, when in reality Madalina Dumitru was following the yoga class taught by Claudiu Trandafir, and Gregorian Bivolaru had not been teaching yoga since 1995, the prosecutors accused him of sexual relations with a 16 year old minor, from a so-called position of “authority”, which in fact never existed.
In short, in 1999 the Romanian authorities asked the Secret Service (Securitate) to monitor Gregorian Bivolaru, on the false grounds that he was a threat to national security.
In 2000, the prosecutor’s office attached to the Court of Appeal in Bucharest ruled to not start the criminal proceedings for crimes against national security, given that there was not a single piece of evidence for it. In 2002, the solution of the prosecutor’s office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice was invalidated, and the investigations restarted. For the second time, the prosecution ruled to not start criminal proceedings, concluding once more that phone interceptions did not contain factual elements proving any crime regarding national security. This shows that for almost two years a useless investigation was made for crimes against national security, with the sole purpose of illegally intercepting Gregorian Bivolaru’s conversations.
Moreover, on March 16th 2004, Judge Lia Savonea, president of the Bucharest Court of Justice, authorized a search of the homes of yoga practitioners, as well as the confiscation of their belongings. Despite the fact that the aim was to discover cybercrimes, on March 17th 2004, the general prosecutor of the Court of Appeal in Bucharest, George Balan, requested the chief of the Romanian special forces, Army Corps General Dr. Tudor Cearapin, bring the drug squad and the necessary troops for counteracting prostituion in order to support the search of Gregorian Bivolaru’s and other yogis’ homes. Due to this express request, which contained false elements about the investigation, teams of special forces and masked police officers, specially trained and prepared for such missions, were provided. This severe illegality is extremely significant for understanding the entire, completely illegal and even fraudulent frame of the investigation made by the prosecutors, which even the authorities named “Operation Christ”. These special forces were armed and they proceeded to undertake a barbaric search, which ended in the confiscation of dozens of personal, intimate objects that had no connection with the objective of the search (cybercrime). The persons living in the searched homes were subjected to psychological and physical torture for hours.
Here is how this operation is described in the conclusions of the APADOR-CH report of April 2004: “The brutal, unmotivated raids of March 18th 2004 in Bucharest, involving more than 300 special forces, prosecutors, police officers and Secret Service agents is only one event in a long series of actions against MISA and the yoga movement in Romania. Repressive actions and calumnious campaigns against MISA and its yoga supporters have taken place before, in other places in the country.
But the intervention of the Prosecutor’s office, special forces and Romanian Secret Service in March 2004 had never reached such proportions. We are talking about the most severe breach of democracy since the mineriads. (APADOR-CH, „Misa case – report on the campaign against the Movement for Spiritual Integration into the Absolute”, Romanian Magazine for Human Rights nr. 28, 2004, p.83)”
Thus, the content of the warrants for intercepting Gregorian Bivolaru’s conversations and the one that authorized the search at his and other yogis’ homes are incompatible with the crime Gregorian Bivolaru was prosecuted and sentenced for.
The fact that the authorities made a considerable effort to discover, without success, so-called crimes against national security by intercepting Gregorian Bivolaru’s conversations between 2002 and 2003 is extremely suspicious. Not to mention the searches that were made in March 2004 in order to uncover cybercrimes, which resulted in sending the accused Gregorian Bivolaru to trial for the crime of sex with a minor, Madalina Dumitru, who was aged 16 to18 between 2002 and 2004. On the ball, Mister!
For anyone with common sense, this unfolding of events outlines one obvious aspect: THE INTENSE AND FURIOUS HUNT FOR THE MAN GREGORIAN BIVOLARU!
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...