Trial on ex-PM Ponta’s challenge to doctor’s degree withdrawal postponed to Oct. 21

The Bucharest Court of Appeal on Friday postponed to October 21 the trial on the lawsuit whereby former PM Victor Ponta seeks the suspension of the Education Minister’s order that strips him of his Doctor of Law degree.

Ponta did not come to court, but was represented by a lawyer who filed an application invoking another legal basis for the suspension of the administrative document issued by the Minister of Education.

On the other hand, the representatives of the Ministry of Education also requested a postponement in order to look into the new documents added to the file, so that the panel postponed the debate to October 21.

Ponta’s lawyer also announced that he will file a separate lawsuit, seeking the repeal of the order of the Minister of Education. The new case was already registered on Thursday at the Bucharest Court of Appeal, but no court term has been set yet.

On August 1 Education Minister Mircea Dumitru signed the order to strip Victor Ponta of the scientific title of Doctor of Law.

“The scientific title of Doctor of Law awarded to Mr. Ponta V. Victor Viorel by the University of Bucharest and conferred to him under Order No. 5663 of 15.12.2003 of the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth is hereby withdrawn,” reads the order issued by Mircea Dumitru.

The release of the Education Minister’s order followed a decision taken by the National Council for the Attestation of Academic Titles, Diplomas and Certificates on July 27, confirming that Victor Ponta had plagiarized his doctoral dissertation.

Ponta challenged in court the Education Minister’s decision and following this trial the Bucharest Bar suspended debates on the former PM’s disbarment.

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