Dozens of university professors and prelates have endorsed over 400 books written by 188 convicts in recent years. Each book earned its author a 30-day reduction of the jail sentence. The Justice Ministry published the list of titles but also the list of university professors and lecturers that endorsed the convicts’ papers.
Professor Ion Marin, the dean of Hyperion University’s Journalism Faculty, has signed 21 endorsements for convicts that started to write books in the last two years, Digi24 shows.
Sorin Rosca Stanescu, Dan Diaconescu and Dumitru Rebegea are only some of the convict-authors that professor Ion Marin endorsed.
Ion Marin, dean of Hyperion University’s Journalism Faculty: “I received their requests through persons close to them, their wives most of the time, you know how they are. They resort to “please, you are his friend, you were, you know each other, journalists.” I was given a kind of printed form with the title of the paper they were about to write. I only signed it, agreeing to them writing the paper. In most of the cases, in fact in all of them, I did not even know the papers had been written.”
Second on the list of professors that gave their endorsements is professor Viorel Cojocaru, from the National Physical Education and Sports University. He signed recommendations for almost all those convicted in the case concerning the illegal transfer of football players. Victor Becali, Ioan Becali and Cristian Borcea top that list.
Retired General Dan Voinea also signed five endorsements for books written behind bars. Their author is former Senator Catalin Voicu, in jail for corruption.
Dan Voinea, the coordinator of Catalin Voicu’s papers: “I accepted to sign that recommendation because I knew Catalin Voicue from the time he was a soldier and I found his research topic extremely interesting and current. I believe that writing is good for anyone, irrespective of whether that person writes out of necessity or because of other interests.”
Miron Mitrea and former Cluj Mayor Sorin Apostu also received endorsements from renowned university professors.
Interviewed by Digi24, Laslo Cornel, the coordinator of Sorin Apostu’s paper, stated: “I advised him to write; I haven’t seen it in order to say whether it’s good or not, I haven’t seen the paper, you know.”
Reporter: Did you go there for this purpose?
Laslo Cornel: No, absolutely not!
Reporter: So how did you collaborate? By phone?
Laslo Cornel: He communicated with me through one of his assistants, who works here (USAMV – editor’s note), and she talked with him.
University Prof. Dr. Marian Cojoc, coordinator of Miron Mitrea’s paper: “I accepted the invitation because it concerned an activity related strictly to what he did back then in 1989, 1990; these were memoirs, consequently it took the aspect of memoirs.”
The list of coordinators includes two Romanian Orthodox Church prelates: His Holiness Teodosie and His Holiness Laurentiu Streza, who signed recommendations for George Becali.
Businessman Dinel Staicu, sentenced to nine years in jail in the case concerning the embezzlement of EUR 11 M at Transgaz, has written ten books in jail. This means he has reduced his jail sentence by ten months, one month for each book.
Former Senator Dan Voiculescu boasts with authoring the same number of books. Jailed in August 2014 at the Rahova Penitentiary, he has written books such as “Humanity, whereto,” “The fourth way,” “Sustainable economic development” and “The theory of value.” The former lawmaker was convicted for the fraudulent privatization of the Food Research Institute.
Dan Diaconescu was sentenced to five years and six months in jail in March 2015, for blackmail. He has managed to write no less than five books in one year, most of them about television. The former journalist has analyzed mass media’s social role but has also given advice on the production of talk shows.
Cristian Borcea has written two scientific papers. The most resounding title is “I was the president of a dream – Dinamo Bucharest.”
Justice Ministry starts scrutinizing jail literature
Convicts: Victor Becali, Ioan Becali, Cristian Borcea, Mihai Stoica, George Becali
Number of books: 11
Book coordinator: University Prof. Dr. Viorel Cojocaru, National Physical Education and Sports University
Convicts: Sorin Rosca Stanescu, Dan Diaconescu, Dumitru Rebegea, Mihail Vasile, Dan Pasat
Number of books: 21
Book coordinator: University Prof. Dr. Ion Marin, Hyperion University
Convict: Catalin Voicu
Number of books: 5
Book coordinator: University Lecturer Dr. Dan Voinea, former military prosecutor
Convicts: Gabriel Bucica, George Becali
Number of books: 3
Book coordinator: His Holiness Teodosie, Metropolitan Bishop of Dobrogea
Convict: George Becali
Number of books: 1
Book coordinator: His Holiness University Prof. Dr. Laurentiu Streza, Metropolitan Bishop of Transylvania
Convict: Dan Voiculescu
Number of books: 5
Book coordinator: University Prof. Dr. Dumitru Miron, ASE Bucharest
George Becali’s coordinators include His Holiness Laurentiu Streza, Metropolitan Bishop of Transylvania, and His Holiness Teodosie, Metropolitan Bishop of Dobrogea.
Ion Marin, the dean of Hyperion University’s Journalism Faculty is the coordinator of the papers written by Dan Diaconescu and Sorin Rosca Stanescu, which focused on journalism topics. A former journalist working for ‘Scanteia’, ‘Adevarul’ and ‘Ultima ora,’ former director of ‘Atac,’ former member of the public television channel’s board of directors, but also OTV collaborator, Ion Marin also endorsed the scientific importance of papers that other convicts chose to write.
Justice Minister Raluca Pruna stated last week that she would analyze whether the scientific papers that helped many convicts obtain parole respected legal procedures. Moreover, Pruna promised harsh sanctions in case she establishes that any of the 331 papers written last year went beyond the legal framework.
Education Minister, Adrian Curaj:Actions by teachers involved in convicts’ works are in their personal name
National Education and Scientific Research Minister Adrian Curaj says that university professors and researchers involved in completing the scientific works in prisons work on these projects in their personal name.
“I think that this subject (of scientific works conceived in prisons, editor’s note) should be treated in a wider context related to ethics and academic integrity. Also, I do not think it is a subject of only one answer. On the other hand, professors, researchers, everyone involved in these cases, are involved in their personal names, therefore, there are no institutional approaches. There are professors, researchers of upper education and research institutions in Romania, but their actions are individual. I am confident that upper education or research schools will take care, in the light of maintaining their own prestige, to discuss these topics and reach decisions”, the Education Minister declared on Sunday for a TV show aired by Digi 24.
He insisted on the responsibility of upper education and research institutions, in these cases.
“I insist on the responsibility of upper education and research institutions; they are the ones with the required expertise to decide on a subject or another. In the unwanted case of inappropriate decisions or a lack of decisions we will see whether there is anything to be done at the level of Advising Councils of the Ministry but no council has such things in its attributions at this point”, Curaj declared.
MEP Ioan Mircea Pascu: “Isn’t it easier to change the law?”
PSD member of the European Parliament Ioan Mircea Pascu says that the cut in the sentence as a result of completing a scientific work while in detention is stipulated by the law, and under these circumstances, he wonders why coordinating professors would be held responsible by the “lead organizations” of academic institutions, as they did nothing illegal, when it would be much easier to change the law.
“They are professors and researchers for upper education and research institutions in Romania, but their actions are individual. I am confident that upper education or research institutions will be careful, in order to preserve their reputation, to discuss these topics and to reach decisions, the Education Minister declared on Sunday at Digi24. Should we conclude of this statement that, based on the advice given above, the academic institutions where the respective professors are conducting their activities (as there is university autonomy, obviously) will held them responsible for supporting the application of the law?
As the stipulation that the conviction would be cut as a result of completing scientific works while being behind bars is, as far as I know, included in the law. And then, why should the respective professors be held responsible in the discussions of ‘lead organization’ of academic institutions they depend on, if they did nothing illegal? Just because authorities are discontent with the existence of this stipulation of a cut in the sentence? Isn’t it easier to change the law?”, Pascu wrote on his Facebook page.