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June 29, 2022

Fugitive yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru arrested in France

Gregorian Bivolaru, the leader of the Movement for Spiritual Integration in the Absolute (MISA) was detained on Friday morning at the Champerret Antique Bookshop in northern Paris. He was placed under arrest pending extradition to Romania, sources cited by France Info stated.

Gregorian Bivolaru (63) has been sought since 1 June 2004, after Romanian authorities launched a wide-scale operation against the members of MISA. Bivolaru was the spiritual leader of this movement that attracted hundreds of young followers. Their parents filed complaints after they discovered that sexual perversions were taking place at MISA meetings.

French judges have decided to arrest Gregorian Bivolaru. The decision will remain in force until the extradition documents are ready. In Romania, Gregorian Bivolaru was sentenced to six years in jail for sexual intercourse with a minor.

In fact, judges have confirmed the European pre-trial arrest warrant issued by Romanian authorities. Gregorian Bivolaru has been detained at the Fresnes penitentiary.

The MISA leader, who had Bulgarian documents on him when he was detained, continues to claim he is a Bulgarian citizen. French authorities established he is lying since he does not speak Bulgarian.

Gregorian Bivolaru is well represented, has several lawyers, even from Romania, and his goal is to serve his sentence in France.

The MISA leader will remain in detention until the extradition papers are ready.

In March 2004, 100 police officers and prosecutors raided MISA headquarters, Gregorian Bivolaru’s home and the apartments he had rented. After 14 hours of verifications and hearings, the prosecutors filed their first charges. “Drug trafficking, prostitution, organized crime, videochat, we are continuing our investigation,” Prosecutor General George Balan stated at the time. Investigators confiscated dozens of videotapes, publications, photographs and electronic equipment. Prosecutors claimed that in many of the images the leader of MISA was seen in the company of naked young women.

The “Guru” as we was called was charged with sexual intercourse with a 17-year-old girl. Prosecutors also claimed that MISA was in fact the front of a sexual exploitation network. The movement’s followers vehemently denied all charges.

“There were many forceful actions. Human rights were flagrantly violated. We believe authorities should do their duty correctly, not like they did, flagrantly violating human rights, starting these investigations without grounds,” Gregorian Bivolaru stated in 2014.

Gregorian Bivolaru was detained and placed under 29-day arrest. While prosecutors were unsuccessfully asking for that period to be extended, street protests were taking place all over the country: MISA members were expressing their support for their leader. Shortly after he was released, Gregorian Bivolaru was caught trying to illegally leave the country. Prosecutors again asked for his arrest. “I was released and now they want to arrest me again. They want to arrest me again,” the leader of MISA emphasised.

“Guru” Bivolaru was arraigned in August 2004. Too late however, since he had managed to flee the country and dodge the criminal prosecution.

“I was in Romania and talked with the driver of a lorry, who was going to Sweden. I paid him, I hid in the container, it was my chance,” Gregorian Bivolaru said in Sweden.

Gregorian Bivolaru was given political asylum in Sweden in 2005. At that time, Sweden did not have an extradition agreement with Romania. Authorities tried in vain to get him extradited. Sweden’s Supreme Court claimed that Gregorian Bivolaru’s rights as a citizen were violated. Even in the absence of its leader, MISA continued its activity in Romania.

On 14 June 2013, the High Court of Cassation and Justice (the Supreme Court) sentenced Gregorian Bivolaru to six years in jail, executory and final sentence, for sexual intercourse with a minor (continuous offence). Judges acquitted him of sexual perversions and the trafficking of minors, and the court put an end to the trial for attempted illegal border crossing, the crime having expired in the meantime under the statute of limitations.

Since 23 May 2013, the Supreme Court also subpoenaed Gregorian Bivolaru under his new name – Magnus Aurolsson.

Gregorian Bivolaru was listed on the eumostwanted.eu website as one of the most wanted Romanians.

Gregorian Bivolaru is also present on European Police Agency’s most wanted list, alongside individuals such as Salah Abdeslam, wanted for involvement in the Paris terrorist attacks that took place in November 2015.

In 2015, in another trial, Bivolaru was acquitted of four other charges: human trafficking, setting up a fascist organization, promoting fascist, racist or xenophobic ideology and, once again, illegal border crossing.

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