Bucharest high school principal detained in Baccalaureate fraud scandal

“Dimitrie Bolintineanu” High School’s entire logistics have been picked up by investigators and will be studied in the search for evidence relevant to the investigation. Likewise, investigators will conduct more searches and the Bucharest Police continues its hearings.

Costica Varzaru, the principal of the “Dimitrie Bolintineanu” High School where suspicions of fraud surfaced during the Baccalaureate’s Romanian Language written exam, was detained by prosecutors for 24 hours, being suspected of corruption, and was about to be arraigned in court yesterday, the prosecutors set to ask for her to be placed under preventive arrest. According to the Bucharest Court’s Prosecutor’s Office, Costica Varzaru took money from the students taking part in the Baccalaureate, interceding on their behalf in order for certain “permissive” supervisor teachers and a commission that could be influenced to be appointed. The prosecutors established that in May-June, as principal of the “Dimitrite Bolintineanu” High School, Varzaru asked for and received sums of money from the students about to take part in the June-July session of the Baccalaureate, in order to use her influence so that the members of the Baccalaureate Commission of the high school’s examination center “would improperly do their duty during the examination.”
Costica Varzaru was not the only person heard in this scandal. Five teachers from the examination commission and 32 supervisor teachers were taken in for hearings. According to judiciary sources quoted by Mediafax, there is solid evidence against the 37 teachers, including video recordings that prove the fraud. The teachers are suspected of telling the students what the Romanian Language and Literature subjects were. That exam took place on Monday. Money and gifts were found on the teachers, the aforementioned sources pointed out. The students that took part in the Romanian Language exam on Monday at the “Dimitrie Bolintineanu” High School were searched by investigators when leaving the classrooms and cheat sheets were found on many of them. Moreover, some teachers that were invited to talk with the authorities had allegedly hidden money and cheat sheets in their brassieres. At the same time, according to the same sources quoted by Mediafax, approximately 20 per cent of the students taking part in the Baccalaureate exam at the “Dimitrie Bolintineanu” High School had paid EUR 300-600 in order to pass the exams. “Dimitrie Bolintineanu” High School’s entire logistics have been picked up by investigators and will be studied in the search for relevant evidence. The high school’s two principals have been sacked. Likewise, five members of the Baccalaureate commission and the 32 supervisor teachers have been replaced. The teachers were brought in for hearings one by one, the hearings taking all night. Yesterday the investigators were expected to conduct a new search, while hearings were set to continue at the Bucharest Police, the persons summoned for hearings in this case not being charged with anything.
The Bucharest School Inspectorate pointed out that in a short time it will appoint a new commission that “will ensure all conditions in order for the high school graduates to undergo all written exams that are part of the June-July 2013 Baccalaureate.”
The Education Ministry subsequently informed that none of the variants of the Romanian Language exam was published before the start of the exam at 9 AM, and the Special Telecommunications Service (STS) conducted verifications and gave assurances that there were no breaches in the IT network.
Also yesterday the Education Ministry announced in a communiqué that the exam will not be repeated and it is the duty of investigators to establish the guilty parties and the sanctions they should receive. Education Minister Remus Pricopie (photo) stated on Monday, after PDL asked for the exam to be repeated, that the subjects of the Romanian Language exam were securely transmitted and no clue points to fraud in this regard, the exam thus continuing as scheduled.
At the same time, Premier Victor Ponta stated yesterday that the guilty persons should be punished if they committed fraud because there is no excuse for such actions.

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