Romanian professors, writers, journalists rally round investigative journalist following ‘Kompromat’ attempt

Inquam Photos / Ilona Andrei

University professors, journalists and writers on Tuesday rallied in support of Romanian investigative journalist Emilia Șercan after she said she had been the target of a “Kompromat’ attempt.

Doctoral thesis

Former culture minister Andrei Pleșu and philosopher Gabriel Liiceanu were among 160 people who signed a letter protesting an attempt to intimidate her which came after she alleged that Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca may have plagiarized parts of his doctoral thesis.

Premier Ciuca on Tuesday demanded an investigation into the threats and urged for the perpetrators to be prosecuted.

The prime minister, who previously served as the Army chief-of-staff, has denied wrongdoing. He has asked the Ethics Committee of the Carol I Defense University that awarded him the doctorate in 2003 to investigate the claims.

Blackmail

On Monday, Emila Șercan publicly denounced attempts to personally compromise her. She accused police of leaking evidence from a complaint she’d filed alleging blackmail _ in the form of intimate photos to a site in Moldova.

Tuesday’s letter of solidarity said that  Ms Sercan, 45, had been „the target of intimidation campaigns for a long time.”

She has made her name_ often defying threats_ by uncovering a high-level ring of fraudulent PhDs. She has written a book about her investigations.

Report

In her latest report published on Jan. 18,  she claimed that at least 42 pages of his 138-page doctoral thesis were not is own work and had been taken from other sources.

The National Council for Attestation of University Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates will review the case and issue a ruling.

The letter said that until then „we cannot help but see how our colleague is under threat and pressure.”

„The way in which the authorities reacted to Ms Șercan’s repeated complaints raises great questions for our entire academic community and for the safety of any university voice that stands out in the fight against corruption,” in Romania the letter said.

Threats

Last year, a Romanian court handed down suspended jail sentences to the two former heads of the Police Academy for instructing a subordinate to threaten her while she was investigating plagiarism at the institution.

Ms Șercan who has been a journalist for 20 years is also a professor at the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences of the University of Bucharest.

Romanian minister resigns over allegations of plagiarism and faking university he graduated from

 

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