Ex-PM Victor Ponta stripped of PhD title, court’s final ruling

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The High Court of Cassation and Justice has rejected, in a final ruling, the request filed by former SocDem PM Victor Ponta where he had asked for the annulment of a Education minister’s order in 2016 that stripped him of doctor of law title following evidence that his PhD thesis had been plagiarized.

The High Court has overruled Ponta’s appeal and upheld the ruling by the Bucharest Court of Appeal pronounced in February 2017.

In 2016, the General Council of the National Council for Attesting Titles, Diplomas and Certificates (CNATDCU) issued a final ruling of plagiarism regarding Victor Ponta’s PhD thesis. On August 1 that year CNATDCU sent the conclusions to the Education Ministry with the proposal of withdrawing the doctoral title.

Education Minister Mircea Dumitru  back in 2016 signed the order by which the PhD title has been withdrawn, a title granted by the Bucharest University on December 15, 2003. The minister’s decree read that “the PhD title in law granted to Mr. Victor Viorel Ponta by the University of Bucharest by the order of the Education, Research and Youth Ministry on December 15, 2003 is being withdrawn.”

Former PM Ponta has constantly denied the plagiarism accusations and tried to minimize the relevance of ‘Nature’ magazine’s disclosure, nevertheless by the end of 2014 he tried to give up the PhD title.

Victor Ponta’s scientific advisor for this thesis was former Adrian Nastase, who was prime minister in 2003. Victor Ponta was at that time Secretary of State with the Nastase cabinet.

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