Romanian PM accused of plagiarism by Nature

AP News
Posted: Jun 19, 2012 3:53 AM
Romanian PM accused of plagiarism by Nature

A leading scientific journal said Romania's prime minister has copied large swathes of his doctoral thesis without proper attribution.

Nature said in a press release Monday it has seen documents that indicate that more than half of the 432-page thesis of Prime Minister Victor Ponta written in 2004 on the International Criminal Court was plagiarized from the work of two Romanian law scholars.

Ponta partially conceded some of the allegations on Tuesday.

`'The only reproach I have is that I did not list authors at the bottom of each page, but put them in the bibliography at the end." He said: `'If this is a mistake, then I am willing to pay for it."

He accused President Traian Basescu, a bitter political rival, for orchestrating the attack, adding that trust between him and Basescu was `'zero."

Ponta and Basescu have recently disagreed on who will represent Romania at the next European Union summit.

Ponta became prime minister on May 7 after the previous government was ousted after losing a confidence vote. Two of his appointments for education minister stepped down after they were accused of plagiarism.

The Balkan nation of 19 million people has been marked by political instability this year after thousands staged weeks of protests against austerity measures in January. Prime Minister Emil Boc resigned in February and his successor held the job for less than three months.

Ponta's left-leaning Social Democracy Party trounced the center-right Democratic Liberal Party in municipal elections, setting the stage for general elections in the fall.