Asylum in Sweden >>> The Supreme Court of Justice in Stockholm has ruled on the extradition request
The Supreme Court of Justice in Stockholm has ruled on the extradition request submitted by the Romanian authorities against Gregorian Bivolaru. It’s been for the first time since the beginning of this farce that the defence evidence was taken into account. Therefore the truth was brought to light and the framings and improvisations of the Romanian prosecutors could be easily taken down. Gregorian Bivolaru was set free and the extradition request declined. The decision is final and cannot be appealed by the Romanian authorities.
The trial in Sweden was heard in utmost security between 11 and 12 October. The audience was only allowed access in the trial room after minute security searching. Electronic devices were not allowed and the audience hall was separated from the Court board and the mentor of MISA by an armoured glass. Gregorian Bivolaru was asked whether he agrees public hearings, which he did, but he asked for the journalists not to be allowed recordings.
First part of the hearings, Gregorian Bivolaru was announced the accusations to support the extradition request submitted to the Swedish Court by the Romanian authorities. He gave specific answers to each accusation, pointing out these are but political framings plotted by the former prime minister Adrian Nastase. As concerns the alleged affair with Madalina Dumitru, Gregorian Bivolaru stated it is mere forgery of those who want to harm him. He related how Madalina Dumitru was forced by the prosecutors to sign a false statement and although she repeatedly wanted to disclose the framing thereafter, the Romanian authorities disregarded her, breaking her right to free expression.
The Swedish Court could therefore learn about the warnings he had been repeatedly given along years, which said he would get in trouble unless he closed the Yoga School. He told about the rulers in power in 1994, who threatened him he would be destroyed he and the yoga school unless he closes the yoga classes. Then he described the fire set on his house in February 1995 and the aggressive media campaign against him and the Yoga School.
The MISA mentor explained how the Romanian investigators distorted the real meaning of life in the ashrams, considering that all yoga movements in the world hold such lodgings. That’s how Gregorian Bivolaru no longer is a yoga teacher in the eyes of the authorities, but the leader of a criminal group, who has taken advantage from people in the ashrams’ work. Supposed this is true, why doesn’t it becomes conspicuous in the possessions he might have earned so far, he argues in front of the jury. Then he referred to life in the ashrams by analogy to the sports schools that own dormitories. The ashram is a place for people to practice yoga and according to everyone’s skills and spare time they can perform volunteer activities for the Yoga School. People are not at all compelled to give up work as the authorities stated.
Then he referred to his editor work at the Yoga Magazine, he introduced himself as a self-teaching person, subsequently acknowledged as a yoga teacher by two yoga degrees, one in France and the other in India.
After Gregorian Bivolaru was examined, there followed Karl Erik Nylund, Sweden’s greatest expert in sects. He is a specialist in studying sects, particularly sects displaying manipulating propensities, which is the topic of two books he already issued. His deposition started by exposing basic yoga concepts. By adjacent connections between yoga and other traditions he proved that the information taught at the MISA yoga classes is not new, but it belongs to the universal spirituality. In his introduction he spoke about reincarnation, about Atman – the Supreme Individual Self and Brahman – the Supreme Cosmic Self, about Karma yoga and so on. Karl Erik Nylund clearly explained that MISA is no manipulating sect, for people are by no means compelled to do or not to do something. He claimed that MISA is not a sect, but an organization with a very positive social impact. I personally met Gregorian Bivolaru during his detention at the Malmo Police and I can say I have never seen a more humble and honest man in my entire life”, the priest stated for the judges. Nylund evinced great surprise at the wide knowledge of the MISA mentor and that he only uses his knowledge in order to help the others. The priest’s deposition was quite documented and had a positive impact upon the judges.
The next on the witness stand was Costel Barladeanu, a yogi who has been living in the ashram for nine years. He explained to the Court how life goes on in an ashram and he talked about the abuses inflicted to many yoga practitioners, particularly during the searching on March 18, 2004. Costel Barladeanu declared on the witness stand about life in the ashrams: “I was never forced to any work and Gregorian Bivolaru has nothing to do with the ashrams management”. The judges interviewed him about the rules of living together with the yogis. Costel Barladeanu pointed out that the regulation had always been agreed upon by the people living there. When he was asked what Grieg means to him, Costel retorted he feels much appreciation toward him as a teacher and as a man who reached advanced yoga practice. Asked by the Court, Costel spoke about his good terms relationship with his family, about his job, which he never considered to give up in order to live in the ashram. As concerns the discrimination he had suffered, Costel mentioned two of his uncles who warned him they would never talk to him unless he gives up attending the yoga classes.
His deposition basically impressed the judges. The prosecutor ruling on the hearings failed to believe that people in a civilised country can suffer such oppression from the authorities: “You mean it? This is how Police acts in Romania?”
It was Madalina Dumitru that was examined in the second day of the hearings. She stated that she never had sexual intercourse with Gregorian Bivolaru, it was all framed accusations which she did want to disclose, but nobody would consider her statement. As she described the aggressive attitude of the authorities against her, her deposition had a strong impact upon the Court. The fact that the gendarmes did not show their identity when they performed the searching and acted like burglars exceeded the judges’ imagination. Also she mentioned that it’s not Gregorian Bivolaru her yoga teacher, but Claudiu Trandafir. In the end of the hearings she was asked whether she was afraid she might get in trouble when she gets back to Romania. “I came here to bring the truth to light. Hopefully there will be no problem”, Madalina courageously replied.
After Madalina was heard, the prosecutor stated her pleading and concluded the extradition of Gregorian Bivolaru. One of the prosecutor’s grounds to support her request was that Gregorian Bivolaru had been set free in this country before. Also the prosecutor stated that despite the aggressive media campaign, there have been journalists convicted for their tendentious articles. The main argument of the Romanian authorities for urging the extradition was that according to the European Convention the two countries, namely Romania and Sweden the agreement starts from the presumption of mutual trust in the Law system of each country, apart from examining the possible gaps. Still, the prosecutor mentioned that the accusations against Gregorian Bivolaru are not clear and the Romanian prosecutors did not provide sufficient evidence against him.
Next, Gregorian Bivolaru was examined again. He claimed he was not guilty and he was the victim of some dreadful framings. “It seems obvious to me that all the warnings I have been given along years are being acted upon and this is the final step to fulfill them . I mean they want to destroy me and this yoga school” the mentor of MISA concluded. He stated in his deposition that destroying the Yoga School is another target of those who want to do away with him. To support this allegation he said that all the buildings belonging to the MISA Yoga School as well as the private lodgings of some yoga practitioners were proposed to be confiscated. “In case I am extradited, the Romanian authorities will be able to say that the Swedish authorities considered me guilty as well and subsequently they will arrest the other defendants in the file, too who are not guilty”, he explained. If extradition is denied this will grant a chance for all the yogis unjustly accused in the file to prove their innocence. Finally, Gregorian Bivolaru said that he was going to accept with humility whatever the Court of Sweden might decide, for whatever is, is from God.
Defendant’s solicitor Nicolas Larsson explained in the final pleading the reasons that conclude the extradition request submitted by the Romanian authorities as ungrounded. The witnesses hearings proved that the accusations against Gregorian Bivolaru are not clear, nor steady either. The evidence in the case proves that the MISA mentor is a discriminated person in Romania and that’s why he doesn’t stand a chance for a fair trial in Romania. According to priest Nylund’s deposition, MISA is not a manipulating sect and so much the less could it be a public enemy that must be eliminated.
The file also recorded the testimony of one of the six persons, who represent the injured party in the file of human beings trafficking. The statement unveils the way this person was blackmailed by the Romanian prosecutors in order to lodge the complaints against Gregorian Bivolaru. The accusation witness gives up to all damages claimed to the MISA leader and to all the defendants in the file due to the Romanian prosecutors’ orders.
The solicitor underscored that the Romanian authorities had no other evidence to prove Gregorian Bivolaru guilty. Therefore his guilt can not be proved for sure, which is basic condition for Sweden to accede the extradition of the MISA mentor, according to the agreement between the two countries. The solicitor eventually asked the release of Gregorian Bivolaru, till the Court reaches the verdict on the extradition in Romania. The court answered they cannot pronounce this before the final decision on the extradition.
On October 21, the MISA mentor was released under no condition and the very next day, the Supreme Court of Sweden announced the rejection of the extradition request submitted by the Romanian authorities.