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Trifa Trial Postponed

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The trial of Rumanian Orthodox Archbishop Valerian Trifa accused of hiding his ties to the fascist Rumanian Iron Guard when he entered the U.S. after World War II and when he applied for U.S. citizenship, has been postponed from its scheduled starting date of July 30.

U.S. District Judge Cornelia Kennedy last week granted a government motion to delay the trial while prosecutors receive, translate and review new evidence being submitted by the government of Rumania.

U.S. Assistant Attorney Thomas Woods said a delay of at least two months would be needed. Woods said a defense motion for summary dismissal of the case is still expected to be ruled on this month, but no date has been set for the ruling.

Meanwhile, the Rumanian Orthodox Episcopate of America adopted unanimously a resolution at its recent 47th annual congress at Grass Lake, Mich. reaffirming “its unshaken confidence in the person and activities” of Trifa and “pledges its moral and material support for him.” In another resolution the congress denounced Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D.NY) for attacking Trifa, the head of the Rumanian Orthodox Church in America, for characterizing him as “one of the most infamous of the alleged war criminals living in the United States” and as “a leader of the Rumanian Iron Guard during World War II.”

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