1 Jul 2012

PM defiant over flawed thesis

5:29 am on 1 July 2012

Prime Minister Victor Ponta of Romania says he will not resign, after an academic panel found he had plagiarised much of his PhD law thesis word for word.

The National Council for Certification of Titles, Diplomas and University Certificates said on Friday that 85 pages of Ponta's thesis were copied, without correct attribution.

Mr Ponta is Romania's third prime minister this year. He denounced the findings as a vendetta by President Traian Basescu.

Science magazine Nature last week reported more than half of his thesis on the International Criminal Court,which was submitted for his doctorate at the University of Bucharest, consisted of duplicated text.

The prime minister has said his only error was to list sources in his bibliography rather than give credit in footnotes and has asked a separate ethics panel to investigate the accusations.

The supervisor of his doctorate was former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, who is now serving a two-year sentence in prison for corruption.