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21 December 2014

Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta has renounced his doctorate, two years after he first came under fire for the plagiarism allegations surrounding the validity of his law thesis.

In 2012 a panel of academics from Bucharest University ruled that Ponta had plagiarised large parts of his PhD law thesis on the International Criminal Court, stating that he “broke the ethical, integrity and good conduct principles of research”.

In a letter this week addressed to the rector of Bucharest University, Ponta said: “I have written to you to notify that I give up the doctor of law title obtained in 2003. This is a gesture that I should have done before, since public allegations about my PhD thesis emerged.”

In 2012, “Nature” magazine alleged that more than half of Ponta’s Romanian-language law thesis was copied from other texts.

Ponta’s thesis supervisor was former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase – who in the theatre of Romanian politics – has since served a jail sentence on unrelated corruption charges.

He went on to say in his letter: “After I will be stepping down from the political scene I wish to pursue a new doctorate while adhering to and respecting all of the standards and requirements.”

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