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Romanian education minister resigns amid plagiarism accusations

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By Euronews  with AFP, Reuters
The former minister has denied the allegations.
The former minister has denied the allegations.   -   Copyright  Euronews Romania   -  

Romania's education minister Sorin Cimpeanu has resigned under public pressure after allegations of plagiarism.

Cimpeanu stepped down late on Thursday after he was accused of "fraudulently appropriating" part of a university course he had taught.

"I have decided to leave my post," the official wrote on Facebook. The decision has been acknowledged by Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.

The former minister allegedly plagiarised 13 chapters of a course he taught at the University of Agronomy and Veterinarian Medicine.

An investigation by news website PressOne found the chapters had been previously published by two other university professors.

Cimpeanu had denied the allegations and said he took over the course with the consent of its other authors.

Although Romania has seen many allegations of plagiarism against politicians and judges, Cimpeanu is believed to be the first senior government minister who has resigned as a result.

Romanian PM Nicolae Ciuca has himself been accused of plagiarising parts of his doctoral thesis on military science, allegations he denies.

Cimpeanu -- who has served as education minister three times since 2014 -- was first appointed under a cabinet led by former left-wing Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

Ponta also had to hand back his doctorate amid plagiarism charges against him.

The Romanian government is yet to approve an educational amendment -- proposed by Cimpeanu -- that would place a statute of limitations of three years on plagiarism charges.