EGMR: Forthcoming judgment on Tuesday 2 October 2018 – Bivolaru v. Romania (no. 2) (no. 66580/12)

The applicant, Gregorian Bivolaru (alias Magnus Aurolsson), is a Romanian national who was born in 1952. He is the leader of a movement known as the “Movement for spiritual integration in the absolute” (“MISA”). The case concerns criminal proceedings in which Mr Bivolaru was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment on charges of sexual relations with a minor.

In March 2004 the Bucharest Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered criminal proceedings against Mr Bivolaru on charges of sexual relations with a minor and sexual perversion. The applicant was remanded in police custody from 30 March to 1 April 2004. After his release, on an unknown date, he travelled to Sweden, where, in 2006, he was granted political refugee status and given a new identity. In the meantime, the Bucharest Public Prosecutor’s Office committed him for trial in absentia. He was acquitted at first instance and on appeal, but on 14 June 2013 he was convicted by the High Court on charges of sexual relations with a minor. The High Court based its decision on the evidence on file, particularly recordings of telephone conversations. In February 2016 Mr Bivolaru was arrested by the French authorities in Paris. In July 2016 he was surrendered to the Romanian authorities, who remanded him in custody. He was released on licence in September 2017. His application for a reopening of the criminal proceedings was dismissed.

Relying on Article 6 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention, Mr Bivolaru complains that he was convicted in absentia without having been heard in person by the High Court. He also complains about the length of proceedings and the refusal of the Romanian authorities to reopen the criminal proceedings.

Relying on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), he complains about the tapping of his telephone. In that regard, he also relies on Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), alleging that he had no access to an effective remedy.

Press release ECHR 312 (2018) 28/09/2018

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