*”If he doesn’t, I will step down from the government”
The topic of B.A. or doctoral theses plagiarised by former or current high government officials or local administration officials continues to take the centre stage in Romanian political and social life.
Education Minister Mircea Dumitru (photo) has stated in an interview for ‘Revista 22’ that if the verdict is plagiarism in what concerns the doctoral thesis of Interior Minister Petre Toba then the latter should be sacked. In case that does not happen, Mircea Dumitru said he would resign from the government.
Asked if Petre Toba should be sacked if CNATDCU’s verdict is plagiarism, the Education Minister answered: “Absolutely.”
He pointed out that he is convinced that Premier Dacian Ciolos shares this point of view.
“We didn’t talk about this directly, because this issue was not raised when he offered me the portfolio, however I raised the issue myself and said that I’m very concerned that accepting such a position, albeit otherwise honourable, puts me in an uncomfortable position given these very well argued and credible suspicions, at least from what I saw in the press. But if it turns out to be plagiarism, I will resign if administrative and political measures are not taken. Unreservedly, I informed Prime Minister Ciolos about this too,” Mircea Dumitru said.
In what concerns Victor Ponta, Mircea Dumitru believes that his position is “an extremely difficult one,” both in what concerns public perception and “from a legal standpoint, because there were certain advantages he had as a result of obtaining the Ph.D. title.”
“Of course, he is trying to defend in the manner that characterises him, publicly accusing me of things that are simply made-up, that have absolutely no kind of factual basis. Namely, that I allegedly translated from German, a language I don’t know. I started collaborating with professor Mircea Flonta when I was very young, at a moment in which I couldn’t have had any kind of institutional power with which to persuade him to accept something immoral. I explained that I translated from English, because all of Wittgenstein’s books are translated in English and those who engage in Wittgensteinian studies, those who are specialists in Wittgenstein, always study the English-language editions too. On the other hand, I can read from German and translate philosophical works from German to Romanian, using a dictionary. So, none of the aspects mentioned by Mr. Ponta is real,” the minister stated.
Mircea Dumitru considers it is “very likely” that following the carrying out of assessments some doctoral schools would be declared unsuitable and in this case the measures will go up to “even proposing the disbandment or suspension of their financing, which will lead to disbandment.”
Ponta’s appeal against plagiarism verdict has been rejected
Ex-premier Victor Ponta found out on Tuesday the official response to the appeal he filed against the plagiarism verdict issued by CNATDCU.
Ponta’s appeal was rejected by the members of CNATDCU’s General Council, Realitatea TV informs.
According to his public statements, Education Minister Mircea Dumitru will revoke Ponta’s Ph.D. title in Juridical Sciences, a title he had obtained in 2002.
Ponta announced on Facebook last week, when he filed the appeal, that he will also turn to the courts in order to overturn CNATDCU’s verdict.
On July 1, CNATDCU reached a verdict of plagiarism in Victor Ponta’s case, with 34 votes in favour, no votes against and 1 abstention.
Victor Ponta obtained his Ph.D. title in Juridical Sciences in 2002, his doctoral thesis being coordinated by Premier Adrian Nastase at the time.
Oprea reacts to CNATDCU’s plagiarism verdict
Former Deputy Premier Gabriel Oprea reacted on Tuesday to CNATDCU’s plagiarism verdict in the case of his doctoral thesis. Since he lacked official information on this topic, the former president of UNPR based his reaction on the National Ethics Council’s verdict, issued in 2015.
“I’m finding out from the press that a CNATDCU commission has allegedly established that the doctoral thesis I presented in 2000 is allegedly plagiarised. I have no other information other than the ones that certain journalists published based on “leaks.” Consequently, I have no comments on this rumour. For the time being, the only valid and official information is the National Ethics Council’s 2015 decision, which clearly says that “the suspicions of plagiarism are not confirmed,”” Gabriel Oprea wrote on his Facebook page.
Oprea referred to a decision taken by a council that was considered to be politicised, the same council that had ruled that Victor Ponta’s doctoral thesis was not plagiarism.
In what concerns Gabriel Oprea’s doctoral thesis, CNATDCU’s Juridical Sciences Commission has established that it is plagiarism and CNATDCU’s General Council, its supreme decisional body, which consists of 47 members, will put up for vote this recommendation on August 1.
Gabriel Oprea’s doctoral thesis, presented in 2000 at the University of Bucharest’s Law Faculty, was coordinated by former PSD Senator Ion Neagu. Last year, the University of Bucharest’s Ethics Commission, led by professor Marian Popescu, focused on the plagiarism accusations levied against Gabriel Oprea’s doctoral thesis. At that time, Marian Popescu stated that the former Deputy Prime Minister had plagiarised his doctoral thesis.