Top Romanian court rules that ex- PM Victor Ponta plagiarized doctorate

Foto: INQUAM/ Ovidiu Micsik

Romania’s highest court has confirmed that former Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta plagiarized much of his doctoral dissertation eight years after allegations first surfaced.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice on found Ponta guilty of copying parts of his dissertation from other sources without naming them.

Allegations emerged in 2012 when he was prime minister, which he denied.

In 2014, when he was still prime minister, he voluntarily renounced his doctorate which was in criminal law.

Ponta had contested the court case. There was no reaction from him to Tuesday’s ruling.

Education Minister Monica Anisei said the ruling sent a clear message „to those who intend to plagiarize.”

The science journal Nature reported on the plagiarism in 2012. The University of Bucharest later found that Ponta plagiarized 115 pages in his 297-page dissertation.

Ponta, who was formerly head of the Social Democratic Party served as prime minister from  May 2012 to November 2015.

He stepped down following protests that erupted after a fire at a concert venue in Bucharest that killed more than 60 people.

He was expelled from the Social Democrats in 2017 after he fell out with his successor,  Liviu Dragnea, who is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for official misconduct.

A member of the Chamber of Deputies, he currently heads the Pro-Romania party, which is allied to the Social Democrats.

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