The West University of Timisoara announced on Monday that it started internal procedures in order “to clarify the situation created in the public space in relation to Laura Codruta Kovesi’s doctoral thesis,” according to a press release.
The West University of Timisoara announced that at the end of last week it started internal procedures meant to clarify the situation concerning National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi’s doctoral thesis. On Monday, the institution received the point of view of the Doctoral School of Law and asked for more information, which is pending.
“We understand that the Group for University Reform and Alternative (GRAUR) has sent to the Education Ministry and the West University of Timisoara a notification concerning the suspicion that Ms. Kovesi’s doctoral thesis is plagiarised, a notification that is yet to reach the University. Based on WUT’s constant openness to the community and its positive involvement in numerous initiatives that concern academic transparency and fairness, the University expresses its full openness toward cooperating with any relevant institution in order to clarify this situation,” reads the communique remitted to Mediafax by the West University of Timisoara’s Communication, Public Relations and Institutional Marketing Department.
The Cluj-based Group for University Reform and Alternative (GRAUR) announced on Monday that it sent to relevant institutions a request to investigate the Codruta Kovesi case, the NGO claiming that it discovered 11 instances of plagiarism following its analysis of the thesis.
“We hereby ask you to order an investigation into the conditions that we argumentatively consider to be irregular, in what concerns the manner in which the doctoral thesis filed with and defended at the institution you lead was devised and written. The doctoral thesis concerned is: KOVESI, Laura Codruta, Fighting organised crime through criminal law directives. Doctoral thesis. Scientific coordinator: Viorel Pasca. Timisoara: West University. 2011,” reads the letter that the Cluj-based Group for University Reform and Alternative (GRAUR) sent to the West University of Timisoara.
The representatives of the NGO want the Ph.D. title revoked in case “the irregular circumstances noted will turn out to be fully or partially true.”
“In conclusion of our analysis, the aforementioned thesis contains a significant number of instances of plagiarism, namely at least 11, so the paper is plagiarised. This is also the reason for our asking you to order the start of the procedure to revoke the scientific title conferred to the author,” reads the request.
GRAUR points out that the request is based on an analysis they conducted.
“The analysis also takes into account the fact that the author of the incriminated thesis said all she had to say the moment she defended her thesis. Any justifiable explanations should be found in the filed thesis. Since none of the passages that the author of the thesis copied is marked as such, it seems rational that the author never had the intention to separate her real contribution from the passages copied, which she wanted to seem to be hers,” reads the request.
The request comes after MP Sebastian Ghita filed with the General Prosecutor’s Office, last week, a denunciation in which he claims he and other state officials took part in falsifying the commission’s report on the doctoral thesis of National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi. A probe into instigation of forgery has been opened as a result, the first person heard being the MP himself. He stated that he allegedly helped Kovesi because they were friends. In reply, Codruta Kovesi stated: “I don’t want to enter a dialogue with defendant Ghita Sebastian. I was not, I am not and I will not be friends with defendant Ghita Sebastian.” The DNA Chief Prosecutor pointed out she will not ask CNATDCU to re-analyse her doctoral thesis, claiming that whoever challenges it is free to file a notification.
“I was verified by the National Ethics Commission in 2012, I was heard by a commission which consisted of several professors. I showed up at the hearings and I brought evidence and the final verdict was ruled four years ago. My thesis is correct and I have all evidence. One [evidence] consists of my marriage certificate. I’m reproached with the fact that Laura Codruta Kovesi plagiarised Codruta Lascu. My thesis, a thesis I worked on for seven years, is correct. I have published many articles and you’ll see them in this thesis. Why should I go and say “verify this thesis” when I know it’s a correct thesis. Whoever challenges it should file a notification,” said DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi on Europa FM.
Iohannis on Kovesi case: Who plagiarised, leaves
Klaus Iohannis considers that specialists should decide whether Laura Codruta Kovesi plagiarised her doctoral thesis, and in case it is proven that a public person committed plagiarism that person “should vacate the public office.”
Asked by journalists on Monday, in Timisoara, what will be his stance if it turns out Laura Codruta Kovesi plagiarised, Klaus Iohannis stated that “this issue has to be clarified by specialists when there is a request in this sense; as to what will happen, it’s very simple. If a public person has plagiarised, we have to move on and the said person has to vacate the public office. Just as a university professor should leave if it turns out he plagiarised. That’s how it is regardless of the person’s name and I don’t want to personalise the discussion for x, y or z. Who plagiarised, leaves.”
The Romanian President believes plagiarism has become a big problem for society.
“I talked with students and they told me that, of course, plagiarism is not the biggest problem of the academic system. Plagiarism is a big problem in society, because it’s a form of theft. If we want to build a better society, with cleaner, more transparent politics, then we have to be very strict. Who plagiarised, leaves, period, it’s very simple. But who did not, and is accused of doing so, should be defended by those who know how to assess the thesis and they should say after a very brief time that the person did not plagiarise. Just like a case of plagiarism should end with the person concerned eliminated from among the ranks of respectable persons, similarly the person unjustly accused should benefit from the restoration of their good reputation in the shortest of times,” Klaus Iohannis stated in Timisoara.
Monica Macovei: Pack of lawbreakers wants to harm judiciary’s reputation
Those who accuse National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi of plagiarism should bring proof, former Justice Minister Monica Macovei stated on RFI. The MEP stated that the members of the “pack of lawbreakers” believe they caught a fish but in fact they caught “a shark that will eat them.”
Monica Macovei talked about the West University of Timisoara’s decision to start internal procedures meant to clarify the public situation concerning Laura Codruta Kovesi’s doctoral thesis. “It’s very good that the West University did this and the Accreditation Council is the one that should have a say. For the time being, based on what I’ve read, the Accreditation Council has received notifications from various persons, but with broken web links, so basically without proof. If the West University has notified the Accreditation Council, then the Council should do its job and let us know,” Monica Macovei said.
The former Justice Minister considers that the accusers have to bring proof too. “So far we have no evidence, we only have complaints, assertions made by the pack of lawbreakers, particularly during this pre-campaign period. Let’s not forget we are talking about Blaga, Ponta, Ghita, Basescu, Udrea, whose common denominator consists of campaign contributions. So we are dealing with a pack of lawbreakers who is attacking and wants to harm the judiciary’s reputation, the DNA’s reputation first of all. All those levying accusations should bring proof. I’ve seen no proof from Ghita, only a denunciation and a big grin on the stairs of the Prosecutor’s Office. Similarly, from Ponta only scornful smiles on television – because one evening the broadcasters attacked Ms. Kovesi –, as if they caught a fish, but they caught a shark that is in fact investigating them, eating them,” Monica Macovei said.