3 08-04-87 04:32 ped
Kolibash wants on Krishna probe; devotees seek minister licenses
ELKINS, W.Va. (UPI) _ U.S. Attorney William Kolibash said Tuesday
he has asked a federal judge to allow him to continue leading a criminal
investigation involving the Hare Krishnas in West Virginia.
Kolibash filed last week with U.S. District Judge Robert Maxwell
his response to a petition seeking the prosecutor's removal from the
Krishna probe. Krishna lawyer Jim Lees filed the request, saying federal
agents have been "running their mouths off" to the media about the
Lees said he was displeased with constant anonymous statements to
the media, including published remarks by federal investigators
concerning purported evidence they may or may not have in the ongoing
probe at New Vrindaban, the Krishna community in Marshall County.
Kolibash said he denied the charges in his response to the lawyer's
petition and believes he shouldn't be removed from the case.
A spokeswoman for Maxwell said Tuesday the judge has yet to
schedule a hearing to discuss the request for Kolibash's removal.
Federal and state investigators have been looking into a wide range
of alleged criminal activity at New Vrindaban, including drug-dealing
and copyright violations.
Meanwhile, the West Virginia Human Rights Commission has begun an
investigation into a discrimination complaint filed by two Krishna
devotees who say they have been mistreated in their pursuit of minister
licenses, a devotee says.
Tulsi Das said the complaint alleges Marshall County officials,
including prosecuting attorney Thomas White, have discriminated against
Tulsi said he and another devotee from the Krishna community near
Moundsvillesought minister licenses so they could legally perform
marriage ceremonies for other followers.
However, White said the licenses couldn't be approved until he
verified through the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in
California that th two devotees were ordained.
Tulsi said the inquiry was unnecessary since New Vrindaban is not
affiliated with the California organization.
"Our by-laws say nothing about any association with any Krishna
governing body or any other ISKCON commission," Tulsi said.