Image: Adrian Iacob, former Rector of the Police Academy, obtained his PhD in 2007 with a doctoral dissertation that was 70 percent plagiarized. Photo: Octav Ganea / Inquam Photos

The “Nufărul” Committee of the Police Academy Exonerates Former Rector Adrian Iacob of Plagiarism

/ June 21, 2019
Image: Adrian Iacob, former Rector of the Police Academy, obtained his PhD in 2007 with a doctoral dissertation that was 70 percent plagiarized. Photo: Octav Ganea / Inquam Photos
Image: Adrian Iacob, former Rector of the Police Academy, obtained his PhD in 2007 with a doctoral dissertation that was 70 percent plagiarized. Photo: Octav Ganea / Inquam Photos

“During the meeting that took place on June 19, 2019, the University Ethics and Deontology Committee of the « Alexandru Ioan Cuza » Police Academy, through unanimous votes, DECIDES that Mr. Adrian Iacob should retain the doctoral degree that was awarded to him in 2007.”

The decision is regarding the former Rector of the Police Academy, Adrian Iacob, who resigned from his position on May 24, after being charged with attempted extortion by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, (DNA in Romanian), in their open court case. This occurred after I was threatened with death; the second most important employee of the Police Academy, Vice-Rector Mihail Marcoci, was also accused of attempted extortion for the same reason.

I received the threat – via text message – three weeks after I published an article exposing that Adrian Iacob -who is a police officer, university professor and doctoral supervisor – plagiarized about 70 percent of his doctoral dissertation. In two other articles, I revealed that the Police Academy is trying to cover up plagiarized theses within the Institution as well as attempting to impede people from accessing their library.

The decision to allow the former Rector of the Police Academy to retain his doctoral degree was issued by the Ethics Committee of the Police Academy. It is a purely advisory decision, ultimately holding no legal value.

The only institution that is legally authorized to issue a verdict on a plagiarism claim, specifically in the case of doctoral theses, is the National Council for the Certification of Titles, Diplomas and University Certificates (CNATDCU), which has a registered complaint regarding Iacob’s thesis, ongoing since March 27.

However, the decision that was made by his former subordinates works in Iacob’s favor by salvaging his public image and, ultimately, by creating the impression that the plagiarism charge which was brought against him is unsubstantiated.

First Page: During the meeting that took place on June 19, 2019, the University Ethics and Deontology Committee of the « Alexandru Ioan Cuza » Police Academy, through unanimous votes, decides that Mr. Adrian Iacob should retain the doctoral degree that was awarded to him in 2007, after having taken into consideration the facts that were presented, analyzed and considered.

Second Page: As a result of the plagiarism claim that was brought forth to the « Alexandru Ioan Cuza » Police Academy, with its case number written above, regarding the possibility that the doctoral thesis entitled “Organized Crime and Interstate Police Cooperation,” defended by Mr. Adrian IACOB at the « Alexandru Ioan Cuza » Police Academy in the year 2007, supervised by Professor Costica VOICU, the University Ethics and Deontology Committee presents the following:

The claim was not accompanied by the bibliographical sources that were apparently plagiarized within the dissertation.

Similar to the decision made in the case of the plagiarism claim regarding the doctoral dissertation of Cătălin Alexandru Ioniță, the boss of the General Anti-Corruption Directorate (DGA), which is under the umbrella of the Ministry of the Interior, this decision made by the Ethics Committee of the Police Academy is a clear attempt to disguise a case of obvious plagiarism.

The strategy that the same Committee employed while attempting to cover Ionita’s plagiarism was built around the accepted similitude percentage concept – regarding which I demonstrated, through a complex analysis, that it is not applicable- was abandoned in the case of Adrian Iacob.

The Ethics Committee of the Police Academy decision is, this time as well, founded on a grossly embellished legal demonstration that not only ignores all evidence of plagiarism, but also mystifies it in an unacceptable way.

The ecosystem in which you learn that intellectual theft can be justified

By definition, the Police Academy is the institution that educates and trains future police officers – individuals who the media and the public refer to as “people of the law”.

The future “people of the law”, whose job is to be defending citizens from criminals, the same citizen who are financing their activity, are currently enrolled in an Institution that refuses to enact strict ethical standards and provide a moral benchmark to its students.

Moreover, future police officers are trained in a university where it is communicated, through the decisions made by the Ethics Committee – the most important moral force of the Institution – the fact that theft is not reprehensible. Plagiarism means theft – intellectual theft. And plagiarism is regulated – and illegal- thanks to an array of laws, decisions and orders that are well- structured.

And finally, among them are individuals that will probably be running the operational structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the next 10, 15 or 20 years. They are currently being educated on both an intellectual and human level by professors, (their main role models in the professional and career sense), who through ridiculous legal contortions, tell them that intellectual theft should be justified, protected, covered and masked.

In this particular case, the person accused of plagiarism is actually the head of the Police Academy.

A quick decision

The decision to allow former Rector Adrian Iacob to retain his doctoral degree was taken by his former subordinates after just 86 days – a short period of time, if we consider the fact that in January 2018, the Operating Regulations of the Police Academy’s Ethics Committee had been modified, and the new timeframe that was allot to respond to a complaint was increased from 45 days, (as required by the Law on Good Conduct in Scientific Research), to 18 months.

And it is not only the timeframe in which the decision was made that draws attention.

One year ago, on May 30, 2018, Minister of the Interior, Carmen Dan, publicly stated that all the doctoral dissertations defended at the Police Academy would be verified to determine whether or not they had been plagiarized.

“To start with, we will evaluate about 80 dissertations, and we are referring specifically to those that belong to certain employees of the Ministry who receive a bonus as a result of their doctoral degree”, declares Carmen Dan.

During a press conference which took place on November 19, 2018, Vice-Rector Mihail Marcoci stated that of the 149 theses defended over the 2011 to 2018 period of time, 55 of these exceed the acceptable similitude threshold, which could mean plagiarism. The Police Academy’s permitted similitude threshold was initially 25 percent but was later increased to 30 percent on November 9, 2018.

At this point, that is, precisely one year after Minister Carmen Dan’s declaration, the Police Academy still has not sent a single notification to the CNATDCU indicating that any of the investigated dissertations are plagiarized – as did the National Intelligence Academy belonging to the SRI (Romanian Intelligence Services), for example, after having faced multiple public accusations of plagiarism.

The official justification for the delays thus far has been explained by the two students who are part of the Ethics Committee. Their presence in the Committee was used by the former management of the Academy to further postpone the investigations and to justify their delay.

A few months ago, former Vice-Rector Mihail Marcoci even declared that the two students were not able to fulfill their responsibilities in the Ethics Committee but for short periods of time.

“We couldn’t ask the students to attend the Ethics Committee meetings seeing that they were in the exam period and had exams that would be taking place over the next three days. They would’ve had to give up entire evenings to attend the meetings of the Ethics Committee ”, argued Marcoci.

Now, because a quick verdict was beneficial to Adrian Iacob, (due to the fact that he had lost his position as well as the the right to teach in the Police Academy, and has been charged by the DNA for attempted extortion), the decision was made quickly, although those same students had been in their exam period for almost three weeks.

The justification of “non-plagiarism”

All the evidence of plagiarism found in the doctoral dissertation of former Rector Adrian Iacob was ignored or absurdly justified by the Ethics Committee of the Police Academy.

For example, the Introduction of the PhD thesis “Organized Crime and Police CooperationBetween States “is completely copied, word for word, from the paper “The Globalization of Child Trafficking, ”(by Ion Chipăilă et al., Sitech Publishing House, Craiova, 2006, from pages 11-12).

In the argument accompanying the decision, the Ethics Committee of the Police Academy feigns not to notice the absolute resemblance between the two texts.

The justification is quite revolting:

“Within the Introduction section of the dissertation, there are ample citations from works that were written by Ioan Hurdubaie, Costică Voicu and a number of other authors. We mention that it is not forbidden by the law for authors to cite the same bibliographical sources, as long as they are correctly and legally presented in the content of the paper.”

The only truth in the above paragraph is in the word “ample”: the Introduction of Adrian Iacob’s thesis is indeed an example of “ample” plagiarism.

ORIGINAL. Page 11 of the book “Globalization of Child Trafficking”, By Ion Chipăilă et al.
PLAGIARIZED. Page 7 of Adrian Iacob’s dissertation.

According to national and international norms, in order to directly cite a source, there are two required conditions: firstly, the use of quotation marks and secondly, a reference to the original source. In the absence of either of these two elements, we are talking about plagiarism.

Adrian Iacob did not use quotation marks at all within the Introduction of his thesis; on top of that, the original source – the book that was written by Chipăilă et al. – is not at all mentioned or found in any footnote – not even in the dissertation’s bibliography.

Things are very simple: In the Introduction of the book “The Globalization of Child Trafficking”, which was written by Ion Chipăilă and a few others, a series of statements attributed to Ion Hurdubaie are made and then referenced with the use of a single footnote. And Adrian Iacob plagiarizes the entire Introduction of Chipăilă’s book, word for word, even this particular footnote.

For Iacob not to be accused of plagiarism in this instance, he would have had to put quotation marks at beginning of the Introduction right up until the end of it – but he did not.

Meanwhile, the Ethics Committee of the Police Academy ignores the fully plagiarized Introduction and claims that Iacob only “amply quoted” citations from another work. Moreover, the Ethics Committee claims that Iacob “quoted extensively” from Ioan Hurdubaie, Costică Voicu and a group of authors.

And on top of that, in order to mask the plagiarism, on the second page of the Introduction, Iacob inserts two footnotes “smack in the middle”, which he incorrectly attributes to Costică Voicu and a group of authors -but this fact is ignored by those who have verified the dissertation.

The final argument is downright bewildering:

“We would like to mention that it is not forbidden by the law that is currently in force for more than one author to cite the same bibliographic sources as long as they are correctly and legally presented in the bibliography of the work.”

This is true: but citing from another source, as I stated earlier, means using quotation marks and making a reference to that source, and the members of an Ethics Committee should know this better than anyone else.

In addition, how is it possible that the Introduction of a doctoral thesis, which is meant to be the part of the work in which the author justifies his research in a personal way, explains the scientific approach, the hypothesis and the breadth of the research – and then briefly describes the content of each of the dissertation’s chapters – should be fully copied out of another author’s work, regardless of whether it is done so with or without quotation marks, or with or without footnotes?

The Ethics Committee of the Police Academy obviously did not ask this question.

The only requirement: the copied sections should be referenced in the footnotes

If these kinds of justifications, contrary to all academic norms, have been made for the Introduction of the thesis, and any evidence was ignored in such a primitive manner, we can come to the conclusion that the rest of the Ethics Committee’s arguments – invented for the other 269 pages of the thesis – were positively flabbergasting.

The majority of the explanations that try to release Adrian Iacob from the accusation of plagiarism have to do with the fact that he mentioned the incriminated content through the use of footnotes in which another source is, nevertheless, indicated. But in the absence of quotation marks, the content that he copied word for word is still plagiarized, no matter how many footnotes he used.

In addition, it is unacceptable to use a quote that spans the length of 20 pages in an academic work – which is meant to be, par excellence, the author’s original contribution to his scientific field of research. So even if he were to use quotation marks and assign the original source correctly, the length of the citation is still inadmissible. In any case, in the former Rector of the Police Academy’s dissertation, we are not referring to a “citation” – under the conditions in which he does not use quotation marks anywhere.

Using this type of argumentation, which is completely against all academic norms – argumentation that is also widely noticeable in the decision that was made in an attempt to the rehabilitate the image of Anti-Corruption Director of the Ministry of the Interior, Cătălin Ioniță – is a key point in the masking strategy used by the Police Academy: almost all of the professors who obtained doctoral degrees in this educational institution did so on the basis of dissertations that were massively plagiarized.

And trying to prevent these dissertation from being exposed with containing plagiarized content will probably be justified, in the future, with the notion that “ look, at least I made reference to additional works in the footnotes.”

In other words, by reducing reality to an absurdity, the Ethics Committee of the academic institution in which “people of the law” might argue, by using the same logic that was used in making the decision concerning former Rector Adrian Iacob – that a doctoral thesis which is 100 percent copied and in which the sources are referenced through the use of footnotes and even possibly through quotation marks, can receive the decision “to retain doctoral degree.”

“The author is not obliged to respect the citation rules”

About three weeks ago, the Ethics Committee of the University of Bucharest made an official announcement stating that 16 pages of former Minister of Culture, Ionuț Vulpescu’s doctoral thesis were plagiarized and that the CNATDCU was notified. They also submitted a proposal to withdraw his doctoral degree.

Unlike the University of Bucharest’s Ethics Committee, the Ethics Committee of the The Police Academy attempted to shield itself from plagiarism claims regarding Iacob’s dissertation and found the most preposterous arguments to protect him, although his thesis was 70 percent plagiarized.

For example, from page 11 to page 55, the content of the Iacob’s dissertation is plagiarized in one big chunk – in its entirety and word for word – from the book “Globalization of Child Trafficking” (written by Ion Chipăilă et. al, Sitech Publishing House, Craiova, 2006, from page 21 to page 75).

The Police Academy’s Ethics Committee’s argument is dumbfounding: “It is not forbidden for two or more authors to quote the same bibliographic source, so when it does happen, the occurrence cannot be considered plagiarism.”

In these 44 pages, there are no quotation marks used at all, and Chipăilă’s book is not referenced in a footnote. Moreover, a serious investigation would demonstrate that this here is not only about content plagiarism, but also about structural plagiarism.

Moreover, the Ethics Committee of this Academic Institution, which is financed by the Romanian government through both the Ministry of Education and Ministry of the Interior, argues that using citations is not required practice in an academic work that brings about substantial financial and professional benefits:

“In these pages, we have a presentation of technical explanations regarding specialized terminology that is used in international law, related to the terminological acceptances of national law and even so, the work does not benefit from copyright protection. As a result, the author is not obliged to comply with the citation procedures, yet he did explicitly state the original sources in the bibliography.”

Furthermore, for the approximately 47 pages that were copied word for word from the book “Instruments of International Cooperation in the Field of Capitalizing of Forensic Methods Probation,” written by Ioan Hurdubaie (2006, Era Publishing House in Bucharest), the Ethics Committee argues that “the claimant did not ensure that the bibliographical sources, which were apparently objects of intellectual fraud within the dissertation, accompany the claim sent to the Committee, so the Committee could not compare the content of the dissertation with the content of the original source.”

Hurdubaie’s book is at the National Library, and a Xerox copy or photo of it can be very easily obtained.

In addition, the Ethics Committee also states that in 2007, the year when Iacob defended his doctoral dissertation, “there was no document regulating the rules of citation”, a fact that causes us to “believe that even if there are certain similarities, they cannot be considered as non-compliant due to the reasons presented above.”

Another explanation for Adrian Iacob’s exoneration is that certain pages from his dissertation, which were indicated of having been plagiarized, are copied “from the same bibliographic source, yet from many different pages within that source, which is physically impossible.”

If the Ethics Committee had indeed examined the thesis with the purpose of verifying if the accusations were well-founded – and not with the intention of saving the former Rector from a plagiarism verdict – then they would have determined that the incriminated content was plagiarized in bits and pieces from the pages that had been indicated, and not consecutively.

These are just some of the Ethics Committee’s arguments. The entire decision can be
viewed here.

A new invention for covering up plagiarism: “Intent”

The last point of the decision that tried to relieve former Rector Adrian Iacob of a plagiarism verdict is based on a series of inapplicable arguments that are legal in nature.

For example, in the decision taken by Iacob’s former subordinates, which was apparently unanimous, the notion of intent is introduced – to commit plagiarism with intent.

“If theft is <<taking a mobile object from the possession or detention of another for the purpose of seizing it unfairly », then plagiarism, based on the definition that is accepted in academic environment, would mean taking a work (text, expression, idea, demonstration, data, hypothesis, theory, result or scientific method) that belongs to another for the purpose of coming into its possession unjustly. This is therefore about an action that is undertaken with intent qualified by purpose.”

If the members of the Police Academy’s Ethics Committee of the Police Academy had a true academic background and would have gone through the literature in the field of academic integrity – they would have discovered that plagiarism is penalized anywhere in the academic world, whether or not it was committed intentionally.

Indeed, there is a whole range of specialized literature about intentional and unintentional plagiarism, there are dozens of scientific articles written about this topic, and major universities of the world have clear explanations regarding the penalization for unintentional plagiarism. Harvard, which is perhaps the most reputable university in the world, published its policies on plagiarism and they can be read here.

In a long-winded manner, the Police Academy’s Ethics Committee claims that “an administrative-jurisdictional body”- that is, the Ethics Committee itself – “cannot consider a work to be plagiarized if there is no evidence of the intent to wrongfully seize the content of another author’s work or parts of another author’s work.”

Moreover, through the legal contortions it makes, in a hilarious way, the Ethics Committee strongly declares that a person who has been accused of plagiarism is “protected by the presumption of innocence until the accusations are proven to be true without even the slightest doubt.”

Because of this, the members of the Committee also state that as a result of this presumption of innocence, the Committee would have the obligation “to remain impartial until conclusions have been drawn.”

However, these ridiculous arguments are found precisely in the conclusion section of the decision that allows Adrian Iacob to retain his doctoral degree; the decision being made a few lines below this statement.

After analyzing the decision of the Police Academy’s Ethics Committee regarding the boss of the DGA, Officer Cătălin Ioniță, through which I demonstrated how the institutionalized concealing of plagiarized thesis, done so by sparking confusion between the terms plagiarism and similitude, the Ethics Committee no longer used the argument of acceptable similitude between works in Iacob’s plagiarism case.

Moreover, the argument of similitude has been avoided, only referring to a possible plagiarism occurrence that remains insignificant. Yet how insignificant the degree of plagiarism is, based on the opinion of the Ethics Committee, we cannot say.

However, in Iacob’s case, the members of the Committee insist that “they could not find any regulations that would determine the Committee to confirm the doctoral student’s attempt to violate them.”

That being said, the Ethics Committee argues that, although the probability of plagiarism “could exist on a theoretical level”, the probability is so slight that “we can draw the conclusion that not only does the work meet all the legal requirements in force at the time it was defended, in 2007, but it also respects the standards that were established, admitted and practiced in the respective doctoral field throughout the year 2019.”

“At the time when the doctoral dissertation was defended, <zero tolerance> was not applied to this kind of situation”

If you have the opportunity sit down and have a conversation with professors or even college graduates from abroad, and you ask them what percentage or amount of plagiarism is accepted in any scientific paper – not just a doctoral dissertation- the answer would invariably be “zero”.

In former Rector Iacob’s case, the Police Academy’s Ethics Committee did not even take the risk of mentioning a percentage.

However, another argument that should be favorable to the former Rector makes the entire Ethics Committee look utterly ridiculous, and that is the argument regarding the fact that at the time Jacob received his doctoral degree in 2007, there was not a no “zero tolerance” attitude regarding plagiarism:

“In the Regulation of the Department of the Doctoral School that was in force at the time when Mr. Adrian Iacob defended his thesis, there was no specific indication regarding the allowed percentage of similitude, and neither is there any indication of <zero tolerance> for these situations.”

Even if the Regulation of the Department of the Doctoral School made no reference to plagiarism in 2007, when Adrian Iacob obtained his doctoral degree, there was still Law 206/2004 regarding good conduct in scientific research, which clearly regulated plagiarism as a deviation from the norms of good conduct in scientific activity.
Nevertheless, this particular law is actually invoked in the decision which has the objective of remedying former Rector Adrian Iacob’s reputation. In other words, it is a law that is known by the members of the Ethics Committee. The Committee invoked this law from 2004 in the context in which their decision states that although, in theory, there may be traces of plagiarism in the former Rector’s thesis, it is so minimal that at the end of the day, the thesis fulfills all accepted requirements and standards.

The 28-page document ends drily:

“In light of all that was presented, analyzed and ascertained during the meeting that took place on June 19, 2019, the University Ethics and Deontology Committee of the « Alexandru Ioan Cuza » Police Academy, through unanimous votes, decides that Mr. Adrian Iacob should retain the doctoral degree that was awarded to him in 2007.”

The CNATDCU will announce the verdict on Iacob’s dissertation

At this moment, the responsibility of a decision in the case of Adrian Iacob’s thesis is on the CNATDCU’s shoulder, which is the only legally authorized institution with the ability to issue a plagiarism verdict in the case of doctoral dissertations that have drawn suspicions of plagiarism.

Adrian Iacob was the Vice-President of the CNATDCU Military Sciences Committee, the same institution that is to make a decision about his case by mid-April.

Since he refused to resign from this Committee, Minister of Education Ecaterina Andronescu resorted to a compromise: she did not force him to step down through a ministerial order but rather asked Iacob to suspend his activity for the time being.

Thus, Iacob is currently still a member of the Military Science Committee of the CNATDCU, although his activity is suspended, and his colleagues will come up with the verdict regarding his dissertation.

The procedure for investigating a plagiarism claim is simple:

· after being notified, the CNATDCU sends the documents to the specialized Committee – in Iacob’s case, to the Military Science, Public Order and Intelligence Committee – which will analyze the dissertation

· the CNATDCU requests a copy of the dissertation, that is in conformity with the original, from the National Library;

· the CNATDCU requests a point of view – which is strictly advisory – from the Ethics Committee of the institution where the work was defended – the opinion was already issued on June 19

· subsequently, the specialized Committee of the CNATDCU designates a working Committee which analyzes the dissertation, and then offers a verdict; this verdict is first voted on by the specialized Committee, and then in the plenary of the CNATDCU General Council;

· In conclusion, we can only just begin to discuss a verdict when the CNATDCU pronounces itself on the matter.

The Plagiarism of the Police Academy’s former Rector, Adrian Iacob – from A to Z

Below is a timeline of the series of articles – and associated events – that determined the Ethics Committee of the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Police Academy to meet for the purpose of analyzing the plagiarism claims made against Rector Adrian Iacob:

March 24, 2019: RELEASE. “The Rector of the Police Academy Plagiarized Two Thirds of his Doctoral Thesis “, the first article in a series of articles regarding the dissertation of the Rector of Romania’s only higher education institution that trains police officers. In great detail, and with images of his work and images of the copied work placed side by side, the article reveals that Adrian Iacob – whose career depends completely on his doctoral degree obtained in 2007 – copied whole pages from multiple sources, word for word.

April 9, 2019: THE WHOLE PICTURE. “The Police Academy is Hiding Dozens of Plagiarized Dissertations Due to Fear of Implosion,” an article about the three-year war that has been going on underground at the Ministry of the Interior, based on the subject of plagiarism; a war with six categories of warloads, all interested in preventing the initiation of a rigorous process focused on investigating all doctoral dissertation (in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there are 580 employees who have doctoral degrees).

April 14, 2019: BLOCKADE. “Alarm at the Police Academy: Block All Access to the Library!”, an article that reveals the measures that the Police Academy has taken in order to block “strangers” from accessing the Institution’s library, after the information the press unveiled over the last three weeks. Among the measures, the total prohibition of access of any individual who does not work in institution; prohibiting access of laptop and mobile phone; transforming the university library – which is a public institution that is publically financed- into a study center with an internal circuit.

April 15, 2019: THE THREAT. The author of the three articles listed above is threatened, via text message, with death. She is told the following: “stop all the activities you are currently undertaking …if you don’t want face living hell…” Two days later, Emilia Șercan reveals she was threatened in a Facebook post – which includes a screenshot (where the last two lines are blacked out “to protect my loved ones”).

April 24, 2019: FIRST SUSPECT. Prosecutors conduct a search the Police Academy and identify Adrian George Barbulescu, a 24-year-old police officer and an employee of the Academy, as a prime suspect. A day later, Barbulescu is placed in custody and the case is taken over by the by DNA as a result of the suspect’s job position. A zoom-out about the impact – and the purpose – a series of 60 articles on doctoral complicities that link the political, military, judiciary and academic milieus, in the commentary “Emilia Sercan’s Lists”.

April 25, 2019: COMPROMISE. “A Compromise as a Solution: the Rector of the Police Academy is Suspended from the CNATDCU ”. Following the PressOne series of disclosures, the two ministries that coordinate and subordinate the activity of the Police Academy – the Ministry of Education and that of Internal Affairs – began putting pressure on the Institution and forcing the Institution’s management to take a series of measures. As a result, Rector Adrian Iacob agrees to take a leave from his position in CNATDCU Military Sciences Committee, the only institution in Romania that can give definitive plagiarism verdicts. In other words: Iacob agrees to suspend himself from the position of key arbitrator in an academic case in which he himself is the one accused of plagiarism.

May 5, 2019: TACTICS OF SURVIVAL: “The concise guide to convering up plagiarized doctorates. Case study: Cătălin Ioniță, the head of the Police’s anticorruption department’s doctoral dissertation.” An article about the tactics that some universities in Romania use to justify theirnon-plagiarism decisions given by their own ethics Committees – decisions that are, in fact, consultative. Among the tactics, the so-called “acceptable threshold of similitude”, an indicator originally developed to detect potential plagiarism practices in dissertations before the actual PhD defense – but which will be used by some universities to justify non-plagiarism verdicts after the dissertation defense and the granting of the doctoral degree. In Romania, there are are least 14 universities that have set “acceptable thresholds of similarity” at 20 or 25 percent. And the new language from the Ethics Committees’ regulations changes the topic of conversation to the term “similitude,” which has no legal approval, and which begins to be used in
official documents, to avoid the term “plagiarized” – the only one provided in academic regulations and standards as well as in the Penal Code.

May 23, 2019: ACCUSATIONS. Rector Adrian Iacob – the main subject of PressOne article of March 24 – and the Vice-Rector of the Police Academy are in custody on a charge of attempted extortion; In short, prosecutors claim that they have evidence that Iacob and his Vice-Rector are the ones who would have pressured their subordinate, the 24-year-old policeman, to threaten to kill journalist Emilia Șercan “in order to force her to cease journalistic investigations that were targeting the Rectors of the Police Academy, thus aiming to eliminate the risks this posed to their professional career ”, according to the DNA release. A point of view regarding the implications of this indictment: “Rector of the Police Academy”. PressOne’s news release about the worst case of intimidation of a Romanian journalist in the last 29 years, here.

May 24, 2019.RESIGNATIONS. At the request of the Minister of the Interior Carmen Dan, Rector Adrian Iacob and Vice-REctor Mihail Marcoci resign – the day after they were charged with attempted extortion – from the management of the Police Academy. Their resignations are recorded by France Presse, and the news is taken up in various publications around the world.

June 19, 2019: EXONERATION. As a result of a unanimous vote, the Ethics Committee of the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Police Academy decides to exempt the former Rector Adrian Iacob from the accusation of plagiarism and, implicitly, decides “to allow Mr. Adrian Iacob to maintain his doctoral degree.” The decision of the Committee is strictly advisory, the only decision-making power regarding plagiarism charges belongs to the CNATDCU.