Sat, 08 Aug 2020

Romania's highest court has confirmed that former Prime Minister Victor Ponta plagiarized large parts of his doctoral dissertation.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice found Ponta guilty of copying parts of his dissertation from other sources without naming them, confirming an accusation first levelled in 2012, against which Ponta had sued.

The science journal Nature had been the first to denounce Ponta, after which the ethics commission of the University of Bucharest unanimously found that Ponta plagiarized 115 pages in his 297-page dissertation.

The 47-year-old served as Romania's prime minister between May 2012 and November 2015, when he resigned following a fire at a concert venue in Bucharest that killed more than 60 people, mostly youths.

He was a member of the leftist Social Democratic Party (PSD) until 2017, after which he was expelled over differences with former party leader Liviu Dragnea, who is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for abuse of office.

Ponta is currently a lawmaker and the leader of the leftist Pro Romania party, a PSD splinter.

With reporting by, RFE/RL's Romanian Service, and dpa

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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