4 05-15-88 05:14 ped Speculation points to grand jury probe of Hare Krishna WHEELING, W.Va

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4 05-15-88 05:14 ped Speculation points to grand jury probe of Hare Krishna WHEELING, W.Va. (UPI) _ A controversy-ridden Hare Krishna commune might fall under the microscope of a special grand jury, which has been called to action by U.S. District Judge Robert Maxwell. Plans call for the jury to meet three days in June and return for a like period in July. Maxwell, the chief judge for the federal court's Northern District of West Virginia, approved the grand jury request for the U.S. attorney's office last week. U.S. Attorney William Kolibash has said that the special grand jury will look into "several cases involving different organizations in different parts of the district." While the judge's order to convene a grand jury does not list the organizations to be investigated, a Hare Krishna commune in Marshall County near Moundsville _ known as New Vrindaban _ could become a target of that investigation. The possibility of an official look-see into the New Vrindaban _ the largest Krishna community in North America _ surfaced in January, in a letter from Maxwell to Charleston attorney James Lees. In the letter, Maxwell said federal authorities have sought to launch a grand jury investigation of the Krishnas for more than a year. "The only suggested specific object of inquiry by the requested grand jury ... is a murder conspiracy involving the Hare Krishna sect," Maxwell said in his Jan. 11 letter to Lees. Lees has served as legal counsel for a number of members of the Krishna community. According to Kolibash, a number of groups in northern West Virginia might beinvestigated. He said it "would not be appropriate" for him to divulge the reason for requesting a special grand jury be empaneled, and he would not confirm if theKrishna community would be one of the groups probed. Maxwell ordered that the 23-person grand jury be summoned to appear June 8 at federal court in Elkins. United Press International Charleston, W.Va. May 16, 1988 2 05-14-88 12:25 ped wa-ntl Maxwell approves call for special grand jury WHEELING, W.Va. (UPI) _ U.S. District Judge Robert Maxwell has granted a call for a special grand jury, and speculation is high that it may probe the actions of the Hare Krishna community in Marshall County. Maxwell, chief judge for the federal court's Northern District of West Virginia, approved the grand jury request for the U.S. attorney's office this week. The jury will meet for three days in June and return for three days in July. U.S. Attorney William Kolibash said Thursday the special grand jury will investigate "several cases involving different organizations in different parts of the district." Although the judge's order convening the grand jury does not list the organizations to be investigated, New Vrindaban, the Hare Krishna community near Moundsville, may be part of the probe. The possibility of a probe of New Vrindaban _ the largest Krishna community in North America _ came up in January, in a letter from Maxwell to Charleston attorney James Lees. In the letter, Maxwell said federal authorities have been attempting to begin a grand jury investigation of the Krishnas for more than a year. "The only suggested specific object of inquiry by the requested grand jury ... is a murder conspiracy involving the Hare Krishna sect," Maxwell said in his Jan. 11 letter to Lees. Lees has represented several members of the Krishna community in legal actions. Kolibash said several organizations in northern West Virginia may be investigated. He said it "would not be appropriate" for him to divulge the reason for requesting a special grand jury be empaneled, and he would not confirm whether the Krishna community would be one of the groups probed. Maxwell ordered that the 23-person grand jury be summoned to appear June 8 at federal court in Elkins.

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