A 4-star general and university professor, Gabriel Oprea, supervised the doctoral theses of 21 students between 2004 and 2013. Nine of these pupils defended their thesis at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza Police Academy, and the other 12 at the Mihai Viteazul National Intelligence Academy (ANIMV), both under the overarching umbrella of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).
Of the 21 degrees granted, 6 were withdrawn for plagiarism: Neculai Onțanu, Bogdan Licu, Loredana Radu, Adela Popescu, Mihai Stanisorara and Dumitru Pârvu.
Moreover, Gabriel Oprea’s own doctoral thesis is suspected to be plagiarized as well.
PressOne reporting discovered that, in all reality, Gabriel Oprea’s entire career as a university professor never existed. In fact, he only became a university professor and doctoral coordinator following a long series of illegal procedures, with the complicity of several state institutions: the Ministry of National Defense (MApN), the Ministry of Education, the Carol I University of Defense University “Carol I”, the Police Academy and the National Intelligence Academy.
In the 14 years he held the title of university professor, Oprea has not taught a single course before a group of students.
Moreover, he transferred from the National Defense College to the Police Academy, and from the Police Academy to the National Academy of Information, although legislation explicitly forbids the transfer of professors from one institute of higher education to another.
According to an answer received from the National Intelligence, an institution where the former vice-prime minister is assigned as a university professor, “at present, Mr. Gabriel Oprea does not have any doctoral students under his supervision and has not taken any student as a doctoral candidate within ANIMV since 2009 “.
Latest news. Having been contacted shortly before the publication of this article, SRI spokesman Ovidiu Marincea officially declared that Gabriel Oprea is no longer involved in any kind of teaching activity at the National Academy of Information.
Before we take a look at the 21 people who Oprea guided to the peak of education, a PhD, it is useful to recapitulate the previous incidences of his academic career.
From shop associate to academic
In the 1990s, Oprea was in the army reserves and began to work in retail and currency exchange, although he would declare that he was a “lawyer” in the section dedicated to profession in public documents.
As for his business partners, he was not picky: for example, Daniel Constantin Stefanescu, (who sold him the business Ana 94 Service International SRL), was a cook.
The year 2000 marked a major turning point in Gabriel Oprea’s life. He obtained a doctoral degree from the Faculty of Law at the University of Bucharest, became a deputy director of the National Defense College – an institution long rumoured to be a breeding ground of secret service collaborators – and hired as the vice-president of the National Defense College Foundation.
In 2001, Oprea was reactivated as a military justice officer with the rank of Major General as well as given the position of university professor at the National Defense College, even without meeting the criteria imposed by the laws of education. That same year, Prime Minister Adrian Nastase appointed him President of the National Administration of State Reserves, a position within the rank of secretary of state.
In 2002, university professor Gabriel Oprea obtained the right to supervise doctoral candidates, with the complicity of several state institutions and without checking the requirements of the legislation in force at that time. Coincidently, Adrian Nastase also installed him as Prefect of Bucharest shortly after.
From this moment on, Gabriel Oprea began to “supervise” the doctoral activity of some key position holders in the Romanian state, in addition to select pupils who were “promising” based on their profile and CV. In other words, these select pupils would go on and advance to the management of justice-related institutions or be key players in the national security system.
For 9 years, between 2004-2013, 21 people obtained the title of “Doctor” under the coordination of the university professor Gabriel Oprea.
The five who work in Secret Services
These people can be divided into five categories: secret service officers, magistrates, police officers, politicians and close associates.
In the Secret Services category, Oprea’s “disciples” and occupation at the time of their thesis submissions were:
– Radu Timofte (Director of SRI in 2004, deceased in 2009);
– Florian Coldea (First Deputy of the SRI in 2010, a position he still holds today);
– Ionel Marin (Acting Deputy of the SRI in 2006);
– Dumitru Zamfir (Acting Deputy of the SRI Director in 2006)
– Daniel Andrei Moldoveanu (head of the National Intelligence Community, under the umbrella of the Supreme Defense Council in 2013, the year he defended his thesis.
When he was asked about the criterion under which he chose Gabriel Oprea to supervise his doctoral thesis, the Vice Deputy Director of the SRI, Florian Coldea, sent us the following answer through the SRI Press Office:
“The doctoral studies were carried out in compliance with all the academic and legal norms over a period of four years.
They commenced in 2007 within the education department of the Police Academy, where during that time, there existed the possibility of conducting doctoral studies in the area of National Security.
General Florian Coldea completed his doctoral studies at the Mihai Viteazu National Intelligence Academy in 2010. That same year, he publicly defended his doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Management of Change in Data Services’ and had a single coordinator for the entire duration of the studies.”
Magistrates and Police Officers
Oprea gave significant attention to officials who worked in field of justice. Thus, he guided the following magistrates’ steps along the path of “science”:
– Marcel Sâmpetru (Vice Deputy of the General Prosecutor of Romania at the time of his thesis submission in 2004);
– George Bălan (Prosecutor General of the Prosecutor’s Office, officially connected to the Bucharest Court of Appeal at the time of his thesis submission in 2006);
– Bogdan Licu (member of the SCM when he defended his thesis in 2011, meanwhile appointed the Vice Deputy of the Attorney General of Romania);
– Florica Diaconescu (judge at the Craiova Court of Appeal, Civil Division I, at the time of her thesis submission in 2011).
When he was asked what was the criterion under which he chose Gabriel Oprea to be his doctoral supervisor, George Bălan told us:
“Because he was the only one in the Institution who had this responsibility.”
At the time, the Police Academy had seven other professors with a specialization in the field of Public Order and National Security.
Oprea’s PhD students who were in field law enforcement:
– Remus Șpan (Deputy Inspector General of the General Inspectorate of Border Police at the time of his thesis submission in 2007);
– Dumitru Pârvu (Head of Police in Sector 6 of Bucharest at the time of his thesis submission in 2007, appointed deputy head of IGPR in the mandate given by Gabriel Oprea’s Minister of Internal Affairs);
– Constantin Bolboșanu (Head of Service within the Directorate for Combating Terrorism and Money Laundering within the IGPR at the time of his thesis submission in 2007. He was appointed Vice Deputy of the IGPR in the mandate given by Gabriel Oprea’s tenure as Minister of Internal Affairs);
– Vasile Toma Rus (former head of the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the IGPR and lecturer at the “Spiru Haret” University at the time of submitting his dissertation in 2011. He was appointed as Undersecretary of State, Deputy Head of the Department of Public Order and Security within the framework of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. He was given this position in the internim mandate of Gabriel Oprea).
Politicians and Close Connections
Regarding politicians, disclosed are the names of individuals who have a connection to the parliamentary control of the Secret Services or National Defense System:
– Radu Stroe (PNL deputy at the time of his thesis submission in 2013, later became Minister of Internal Affairs in the USL government and member of the parliamentary committee for the control of SRI);
– Mihai Stanisorara (deputy at the time of his thesis submission in 2011, former chairman of the Commission for Defense, Public Order and National Security of the Chamber of Deputies, former presidential adviser on security issues and former Minister of Defense);
– Romeo Raicu (PDL vice-president at the time of his thesis submission in 2011, former deputy and chairman of the Parliamentary Control Committee of the SIE);
– Neculai Onțanu (Mayor of Sector 2 at the time of his thesis submission in 2010, General Secretary of UNPR and personal friend of Gabriel Oprea).
The last category is made up of people who were close to the former Deputy Prime Minister:
– Loredana Radu (lawyer who defended, among others, former Prime Minister Victor Ponta in the Rovinari-Turceni file);
-Adela Popescu (Gabriel Oprea’s secretary at the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Interior, twice decorated by President Traian Basescu with the Military Virtue Order of the Knight and with the National Order of Faithful Service as a Knight. Decorated once by President Klaus Iohannis with the “Star of Romania”);
– Adrian Petrache (businessman, who former president Traian Basescu included in the Oprea-Bittner-Petrache triangle through the famous 2004 statement – “Gabriel Oprea is the head of Adrian Năstase’s personal mafia, of which Alexandru Bittner and Adrian Petrache are members“);
– Ioan Șandru (Pantelimon Avram’s son-in-law, former director of Romgaz, one of the most powerful energy-based companies in Romania).
I asked each individual who was a doctoral candidate under Gabriel Oprea’s supervision to express his or her official position on the matter. With the exceptions presented above (Florian Coldea and George Bălan), the rest declined to respond.
The same PhD Reviewing Committee Members
In all of the Police Academy’s PhD reviewing committees, which were set to determine the verdict on Gabriel Oprea’s nine doctoral candidates’ theses, the same professors were appointed. Dr. Luca Iamandi, Dr. Ștefan Gheorghe Teodoru, Dr. Costică Voicu (former rector of the Police Academy), Dr. Ion Suceavă, Dr. Vasile Mihai Ozunu and Dr. Gheorghe Toma.
In all of the National Intelligence Academy’s PhD committees, which were set to determine the verdict on Gabriel Oprea’s 12 doctoral candidates’ theses, the same professors were appointed: Prof. Dr. Vasile Dîncu (current Deputy Prime Minister and former Director of the ANIMV Doctoral School), Prof. Dr. Constantin Onișor (current director of the ANIMV Doctoral School), Prof. Dr. Ion Neagu (coordinator of the PhD thesis of Gabriel Oprea), Prof. Dr. Teodor Frunzeti (former rector of the “Carol I” National Defense University), prof. Dr. Florin Râpan, Prof. Univ. Dr. Gheorghe Toma, Prof. Univ. Dr. Marius Hanganu, Dr. Mihai Vasile Ozunu, Prof. Dr. Țuțu Pișleag, Prof. Dr. Ștefan Gheorghe Teodoru, and associate professor Dr. Cristian Barna