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Sexcrime-suspect yoga leader is getting support (13-04-2005)

Romanian authorities have requested that the yoga leader Gregorian Bivolaru will be extradated from Sweden. But both his supporters and some human rights activists are critical - He will not receive a fair trial in Romania, says Ulla Sandbak, former member of the European Parliament.

The leader of the Romanian yoga movement MISA was caught last week while applying for political asylum in Sweden. Now he is arrested, suspected of having taken advantage sexually of a minor girl.

The story is receiving huge attention in Romanian media and during the Wednesday supporters of Gregorian Bivolaru went to Hilton Hotel in Malmö in order to give their view upon the accusations

Besides the yoga-supporters, in the press conference took part the lawyer Adina Solomon. – I represent the woman that is supposed of being abused. But the prosecutor has under an interrogation forced her to sign a statement. There is no crime since there is no victim, says Adina Solomon.

During the press conference she explained in details how the seventeen-year old girl was caught by police, exposed for pressure and forced to admit that she had a sexual relationship to Gregorian Bivolaru when she was sixteen years old. In Romania it is forbidden to have a sexual relationship to a teacher if you are sixteen years old or younger.

- During the investigation they were pulling the 17-year olds hair. She was denied access to a lawyer. Besides that they forced her clothes of and filmed her, the pictures leaked out to the press who published the nude pictures, says the lawyer. – It wasnt untill she was released that she contacted me. When she wanted to take back the statement they were no one listening.

Today the MISA movement has 40000 supporters around the world. Gregorian Bivolaru is its leader and Romanian authorities describe him as a pedophile. They also believe his movement to be a closed sect. Something he himself denies. He is representing a movement that is teaching different yoga techniques, among other tantrasex. – But we never have sex in our rooms. In our school you learn techniques that you can take back home to the bedroom, says Mikael Eriksson from Natha Yogacenter in Denmark, an independent yoga movement based on Gregorian Bivolarus ideas.

Ulla Sandbak is a priest and has been representing the Danish June Movement in the European Parliament. She has involved herself in the case Gregorian Bivolaru. – To involve in such a case as a priest and politician is quite complicated. It wouldnt be so good to be put in connection with “sexsect” that is performing orgies. But my research shows that this is about a justice scandal, says Ulla Sandbak.

In Romania there are charges that Gregorian Bivolaru has been making money on traficking. According to the accusations the yogaleader should have sold female yoga students to Japanese men who want sex. – The accusations are groundless. Romanian authorities are trying to connect him with a business that has call-girls”, she says.

During the Wednesday the 100 page thick extradation case arrived in the Justice department. Because of the secret of the examination it is not made public. The case has now landed with prosecutor Ronny Jonsson who will clarify the case. It is not expected to be finished untill the summer.

This article appeared in Sydsvenskan

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