Mass media campaign >>> Campaign starting with 18 March 2004 >>> Manipulation, misinformation
Ziarul – 31 March 2004
SHOCKING DISCLOSURES MADE BY BOGDAN DRAGHICI, PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CIVIL SERVANTS DIGNITARIES IN THE SERVICE OF BIVOLARU
By DANIEL GORGONARU
The president of the National Federation of Public Servants, Bogdan Draghici (photo), made yesterday a series of shocking disclosures about the protection that MISA enjoyed from several important public clerks, belonging especially to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration.
“Mr. Draghici, how many MISA adepts do you reckon to find in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration?”
“Tens of clerks, throughout the whole country. MISA members didn’t get into this Ministry only, but into others such as the Government General Secretariat. We are now gathering data from all our branches and we will make them public in the shortest time”
“Are we to understand that now you do not have specific names?”
“Yes, we do. But we need to check all information and to give a full picture of the situation. Which, I repeat, is very serious.”
“How high did MISA penetrate in the administration?”
“Up to highly ranked civil servants as concerns the adepts, and in terms of influence up to dignitaries. Our inquiries will focus especially on Bucharest, since people from the center, from the Government, were the main suppliers of protection for Bivolaru.”
“What was this protection against? Why was MISA interested to have influence to this high level?”
“The protection was mainly economic. Companies of key MISA members or Bivolaru adepts were performing illegal economic activities. For these services, which included protection and information from inside the state departments, the clerks received material benefits.”
“Are we to understand that the clerks adepts of MISA joined it only to follow their interests?”
“Obviously some of them may have been attracted by yoga concept. But they don’t do yoga at MISA, they do completely different things. Unfortunately we don’t believe they were victims, rather beneficiaries. Some of them may have chosen instead of money other rewards.”
“Why are you disclosing these things right now?”
“I took a stand against MISA in the past as well. But now, following the new information we got about members of the administration who are adepts of this organization, we decided to dig deeper and find out the size of this phenomenon.”
ZIUA - 5 April 2004
Ioan Rus: “The release of Gregorian Bivolaru is strange”
Ioan Rus, the Minister of Internal Affairs, considers as strange the release of the spiritual leader of MISA, Gregorian Bivolaru, release that the judges have explained by procedure defects.
“I consider as strange the release of Gregorian Bivolaru on grounds of procedure. He could have been released on arguments that he is not a public enemy, or that his movement does not count hundreds of thousands of members, but only tens, that there are not thousands of mothers shocked with what’s going on with their children, but only hundreds”, the Minister Rus, quoted by Mediafax, declared on Saturday.
The Internal Affairs Minister stressed that in judging the Gregorian Bivolaru case, there the procedure details that won against the facts. “They have been discussing the procedure but did not reach the essence of the problem. If so, the Police as well is going to analyse the procedure and not the facts” the Minister stated.
The Minister Ioan Rus expressed his confidence that the Minister of Justice, Cristian Diaconescu, and the General Prosecutor of Romania, Ilie Botos, would contribute to the clarification of Gregorian Bivolaru case and would particularly mind the grounds and not the procedure defects.
REALITATEA ROMANEASCA - 22April 2004
Ardelean is positive that there have been crimes committed at MISA
The police officer Virgil Ardelean, head of the General Department for Intelligence and Internal Protection from the Ministry Internal of Affairs stated yesterday that he agrees with those who claimed that crimes have been committed by the Movement of Spiritual Integration in the Absolute, led by Gregorian Bivolaru.
The head of the GDIIP says that the “guru” has been released because of some “quite obvious defects inside the law application system”. When asked if the prosecutors’ evidences were serious Virgil Ardelean refrained from giving a clear answer and he mentioned he is not in charge to evaluate that. According to the police officer, the investigations in the MISA case continue in three directions, in order to identofy exactly the crimes that have been committed, but he gave no other details.
GARDIANUL - 14 April 2005
Bivolaru’s Apprentices in Sweden: Romanian press and police want to shut Grieg up
by Diana Protopopescu, Nicoleta Livezeanu
Today, at Alba Iulia Court of Appeal, it should be judged the appeal declared by Gregorian Bivolaru’s lawyer against the decision by Sibiu Tribunal to maintain the pretrial arrest. The branches from Denmark and Sweden of the Movement for Spiritual Integration in Absolute (MISA) have organized yesterday in Malmo a press conference to explain the case of the spiritual mentor of the movement, Gregorian Bivolaru, confined early last week in Sweden. They claim Grieg Bivolaru is “a victim of the Romanian political system” and the crimes he allegedly committed are pure set ups. Moreover, they explain that the Romanian press and police have acted “in a concerted way” to “shut him up”.
Yesterday, the spoke person of Natha Yoga Center, Karsten Fisher, announced that “Esoteric Orient Yoga Sweden together with Natha Yoga Center Denmark organize a press conference on the subject "Romanian citizen seeking political asylum in Sweden risks to be extradited for a crime with no victim".” The same document shown a second topic, “the press campaign together with the concerted action of the Romanian police meant to shut up the dissident Gregorian Bivolaru, now in Sweden”.
Similar conference in Bucharest
The Danish MISA branch informed the conference would be attended by representatives of the Sweden and Denmark branches, by Adina Solomon (the lawyer of the minor Bivolaru had sexual relations with), by Ulla Sandbek (member of European Parliament between 1996 and 2004), and by Mihai Stoian (representative of “Atman” International Federation of Yoga and Meditation).
The president of MISA Romania, Nicolae Catrina, declared yesterday that the initiative to set this conference belongs exclusively to the two branches. “Probably the people over there will present to the Swedish journalists the juridical aspects of Bivolaru case, as well as the situation of Madalina, who is claimed to be Bivolaru’s victim”, said Catrina. He added that in Bucharest as well there will be a similar press conference, but only after the MISA members will have details about Grieg’s situation and his trial case in Sweden.
Arrested when seeking asylum
The spiritual leader of MISA has been under provisional arrest by the Swedish judiciary since early last week, in view of his extradition to Romania. Gregorian Bivolaru, 53 years old, was put under national search on 4 June 2004, and through the message of Interpol National Office on 21 July 2004, under international search.
During the past months Guru Bivolaru stayed in Malmo at Natha Yoga School, one of MISA branches from Sweden. The Yoga Center in Malmo was opened by Georgiana Danet, a familiar to Bivolaru, living in Sweden for over 9 years. On April 4, Guru Bivolaru went to Malmo Police Headquarters and declared to the officer on duty, inspector Ronny Jonsson, that he intends to request “political asylum” in Sweden. The officer handed him some forms to be filled in and invited him in one of the offices. According to the Swedish journalists, Bivolaru was offered a coffee, while the policemen checked his identity papers. The standard procedure in such cases is to cross check the personal data of the applicant with that of the people under local, national or international search from the Swedish police database. Following the check, they noticed that Gregorian Bivolaru is under international search through Interpol. Therefore, immediately after, Guru was handcuffed and taken to the police jail.
The request for extradition, sent
The Ministry of Justice transmitted early this week to the similar institution from Sweden the request to extradite Bivolaru. The judiciary from this country is to make a decision on this request according to the legal provisions on the matter. The request for Grieg’s extradition was issued by the Bucharest Court of Appeal, in the view of enforcing the warrant for pretrial incarceration issued in absence by the Bucharest Court of the 5th District. The Swedish authorities had requested the extradition documents to be sent by May 13 this year. The Swedish magistrates have to decide upon the extradition request according to the Swedish legislation and to the provisions of the European Convention of Extradition.
On 31 May 2004, Bucharest magistrates had issued against Bivolaru a warrant for pretrial arrest for sexual act with a minor, offense punished with imprisonment from 3 to 12 years.
GARDIANUL - 21 January 2005
The fieldwork gives another perspective! The appointment of a civil function changes the attitude of some representatives of the civil society
MONICA MACOVEI AND RENATE WEBER WASHED THEIR HANDS OFF THE ‘GURU’
By Lidia Popeanga, Al. Racoviceanu
As we could expect it, Monica Macovei’s and Renate Weber’s attitudes regarding the investigation of Gregorian Bivolaru and some MISA members are different compared to the ones they had when they were leading the Romanian Association for the Defense of the Human Rights – Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH). We remind you that our newspaper warned you yesterday that the current juridic counselor of the Cotroceni Palace and the Minister of Justice have been in the last 9 years the only public voices that defended the followers of the movement spiritually led by Gregorian Bivolaru. Now they prove unable to stop or to start an investigation; but Monica Macovei and Renate Weber’s boss give daily statements saying that they will interfere in the judicial act, even if the statements suggest a positive interference.
Yesterday, the General Prosecutors’ Office officially confirmed a news that our paper has been announcing for 3 days: the start of prosecution against Gregorian Bivolaru and two of his disciples under the accusation of fiscal evasion. It is the penal pursuit that the General Prosecutors’ Office had been waiting for a long time in order to ask the Bucharest Court to issue a new warrant for Bivolaru. The best evidence of the noninterference of the militant Monica Macovei and Renate Weber in this investigation would be the issuance of this warrant. After all, as Police cannot find ‘Guru’ Grieg, this would not cost them anything.
Macovei: Perhaps after my appointment they thought of solving the claims of APADOR-CH
By Andi Topala
Yesterday, the Minister of Justice, Monica Macovei, gave us a short interview regarding the reports which APADOR –CH, whose president she was, had issued about the MISA case and the transcripts of PSD [Social Democratic Party] meetings before her appointment in the Government. We must say that, unlike for the meetings of National Anticorruption Prosecutors Office and the Superior Council of Magistracy meeting, the minister of Justice did not show up to the yesterday’s press conference at the General Prosecutor’s Office.
Reporter: When you were president of APADOR-CH, representing the civil society, you made many reports and protests against the way in which the investigation regarding MISA is carried on.
Monica Macovei: Yes, I made many reports and protests regarding the way the policemen, prosecutors, ‘the masked forces, the Secret Services act, and I asked for an investigation.
R: Do you take distance from your actions as a civil society representative now when you are a minister, and when the MISA files are either in prosecutors’ or in judges’ hands?
MM: The Minister of Justice does not have the power to see any investigated file or to influence one that is on trial.
R: Have you received any answer or have you taken any measures regarding the reports and protests made at the General Prosecutor’s Office?
MM: I had a meeting with the general prosecutor, Ilie Botos, but I did not receive any answer.
R: Will you ask now for an answer to the APADOR-CH requests?
MM: I left APADOR and now this institution continues its activity. If APADOR wants to ask how this investigation is made, it is free to ask. Things just go on. I am done with APADOR.
R: I could draw a parallel to some other situation, that is, of the transcripts of PSD meetings. For them you have accelerated the solving of a request that was by the way filed by yourself.
MM: That is wrong. I have not accelerated anything. I did not even know that Botos sent the case to NAPO. I found this out from the press. Maybe after my appointment they thought of solving this case. I made no intervention as to the requests made before I was appointed minister; not in the transcripts or MISA cases, or in any other case.
R: As a minister you said that when you represented the civil society you felt a lack of reaction from the Public Ministry as far as the penal complaints of NGO’s against this institution are concerned. Right the day after the General Prosecutor’s Office announces the solving of the case of the PSD transcripts.
MM: Ask them why they didn’t do this before. I have not made any call, I have not talked to Botos about this. I make a statement that the ministries, the authorities do not answer to NGO’s reports. Mr. Botos decides by himself what to do. Ask him why he didn’t do it before my appointment.
R: When you were a representative of the civil society you also asked for Radu Timofte’s resignation. Now, as a member of the Government do you still ask for it?
MM: I have stopped this activity. APADOR-CH can carry it on.
Ilie Botos: "Each organisation is free to have its own opinion!"
Regarding the MISA files on the roll of various courts, Romania’s General Prosecutor, Ilie Botos, declared that ‘there have never been or will be a political interference in the instrumentation and trial of the case’. Moreover, referring to the report made by APADOR-CH when headed by the present minister of justice, and in which prosecutors and the policemen were blamed, Ilie Botos has a clear cut opinion: ‘Each NGO is free to have its own opinion.
We have done nothing until now regarding the requests of APADOR-CH but I can tell you that in a private discussion with minister Monica Macovei she assured me that the institution she is leading would not interfere. In fact, she said that herself, as a minister of justice she would not interfere in the activity of the Public Ministry. Even if she is a representative of the civil society, with no political colour, I can assure you that there isn’t here any conflict of interests’, added the general prosecutor.
Weber: "Personally, I have never talked to Gregorian Bivolaru"
Yesterday, the juridic counselor from the Cotroceni Palace answered us to the issue raised by the fact that now she has to respect and help the activity of the institutions that she criticized when a representative of the civil society. One could notice that Renate Weber’s voice was not as strong as it was when she was a co-president at APADOR-CH. Many of the clear aspects from the 1996 and 1997 reports are considered now simple discussions with MISA followers or with policemen. Renate Weber forgets that those reports had international impact and the state institutions have postponed for another 7 years the investigation of some MISA members just because the civil society criticized them. Moreover, Renate Weber is now the representative of a Presidential Administration that uses in its structure many journalists, but in 1996 she agreed with their punishment by the courts of law. Here are the answers that the juridic counselor gave us, together with an excerpt from the 1996 report. The question is: Who is the real Renate Weber?
The answers of the presidential counselor
1.The insinuations regarding the use of my present position for influencing in any way the investigation of Gregorian Bivolaru are pure unethical speculations.
2. Between 1994-1999 I was co-president of APADOR-CH. In time, there have been several critical press articles about MISA and complaints at the police that asked for investigating MISA’s activities. The MISA leaders asked the support of APADOR-CH and I discussed on this subject with persons leading the organization. Personally, I have never talked to Gregorian Bivolaru. I have never talked to anyone from police about these complaints either.
3.APADOR-CH’s positions have always been expressed publicly or through activity reports that have constantly supported the respect of human rights, including the freedom of conscience.
4.As I remember, at that time, police did not ask the Prosecutor’s Office to prosecute any MISA member and also I don’t remember the existence of any action of the Prosecutor’s Office against Gregorian Bivolaru or a MISA member.
The same voice, 9 years ago
Here are some excerpts from the APADOR-CH report for 1996.
"The press campaign launched against MISA and the Yoga instructor Gregorian Bivolaru had began in 1990 and reached a peak in 1995. Romania libera, Jurnalul national, Ziua, Academia Catavencu, etc. continued to publish slanderous articles about MISA in 1996. MISA lodged complaints against several journalists that they accused of libel. The fact that in several cases the journalists were punished (Corneliu Reu from Tinerama and Cristian Negureanu from Romania libera were fined in 1995) gave the impression that the hostility focused against this group is kept under control by state institutions under these circumstances.
In August 1996, APADOR-CH conducted an investigation in the Costinesti camp where MISA members gather every year. For two days, the APADOR-CH representatives watched the group to see whether the allegations relating to the fact that this association disturbs public peace and order and act against good morals are founded. The MISA gatherings took place under civilized conditions. Nothing in the activity of MISA members ran counter the law, which makes the campaign launched against them unjustified.
In their interviews, MISA leaders contested the information disseminated in the media and backed their statements with reliable data. They also confirmed the declarations made by the two students molested by the police interviewed by APADOR-CH.
In 1996, APADOR-CH started investigating the reasons for which various newspapers published articles against MISA but, in order to define its position in connection with this situation so as to be able to put an end to this campaign against freedom of conscience, the association's activities will continue in 1997."