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tive News Svc. 4 stories selected 1 Scan by story titles 2 Scan by story leads 3 Read all stories !1 Executive News Svc. List of 4 selected stories 1 APoh 12/03 2054 Krishna Trial 2 APpa 12/03 2025 Krishna Trial 3 APwv 12/03 1812 Krishna Trial 4 APwv 12/03 1347 wv-(swami trial) !1,4 Executive News Svc. APoh 12/03 2054 Krishna Trial CLARKSBURG, W.Va. AP) -- A federal judge on Thursday refused to postpone the arson and mail fraud trial of a Hare Krishna swami accused of burning an apartment building to collect $40,000 in fire insurance. U.S. District Judge William Kidd rejected the motion filed by an attorney for Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada during a pre-trial hearing in Clarksburg, clearing the way for the trial to begin as scheduled Monday. Bhaktipada, 50, is the spiritual leader of the Krishna encampment at New Vrindaban in Marshall County, the nation's largest Krishna community. He contends the charges are the result of perseuction by federal prosecutors. Bhaktipada and convicted murderer Thomas Drescher were charged with arson, mail fraud and conspiracy in a federal indictment returned in September. They are accused of torching the building in 1983 to collect the money. Kidd also rejected a motion from Bhaktipada's lawyer, James Lees, to be tried apart from Drescher. Drescher, 39, also known as Tirtha Swami, became a Krishna spritual leader in a controversial ceremony at the West Virginia Penitentiary last summer. He is serving a life sentence for murdering Charles St. Denis, a Krishna devotee who lived just outside the New Vrindaban commune. Drescher also is charged with murdering Krishna dissident Steven Bryant in Los Angeles and is awaiting extradition. Drescher, who is being held in the Harrison County Jail, complained on Thursday about the speed in which the case is being brought to trial. "The state had four years to prepare its case and we're given less than three months," he said. "I don't see how that can be called fair. It looks like the government is trying to rush the trial in hopes they can spirit Swami Bhaktipada off to prison somewhere. But Krishna will have the final word." Executive News Svc. APwv 12/03 1347 wv-(swami trial) (CLARKSBURG) -- A federal judge has refused to postpone the arson trial of a hare krishna swami charged with burning an apartment building to collect 40-thousand dollars in fire insurance. u-s district judge william kidd rejected the motion filed by an attorney for kirtanananda swami bhaktipada today during a pre-trial hearing in clarksburg. That clears the way for the trial to begin as scheduled on monday. kidd also rejected a motion by charleston attorney james lees to throw out a mail fraud charge against bhaktipada, the spiritual leader of the krishnas at new vrindaban. bhaktipada and convicted murderer thomas drescher were charged with arson, mail fraud and conspiracy in a federal indictement returned in september. they are accused of torching the building in 1983 to collect the money. moundsville attorney mark karl, who is representing drescher on the federal charges, was scheduled to present several motions this afternoon. drescher, also known as tirtha swami, became a krishna spritual leader in a controversial ceremony at the prison last summer.

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