Leaders of the Dak Lak province’s Party Committee said up to this point they had all the conclusions showing Mr. Bui Van Cuong, the Secretary of the province’s Party Committee, has not plagiarized his doctoral thesis.
Mr. Bui Van Cuong himself, after being re-elected secretary of Dak Lak province’s Party Committee for the 2020-2025 period, also affirmed that he was not plagiarist.
Mr. Pham Minh Tan, standing deputy secretary of the Dak Lak province’s Party Committee quoted the conclusion of the Sub-committee for the Protection of Internal Politics on the results of the settlement of the denunciation against Mr. Bui Van Cuong:
“Verification results up to the present time show that comrade Bui Van Cuong has no plagiarism behavior, did not seriously violate the regulations of the Ministry of Education and Training in his doctoral research at the Marine University in 2018 as the denunciation content stated in the appeal dated February 10 of Mr. Hoang Minh Tuan.
“Comrade Bui Van Cuong has not used an illegal doctorate degree nor violate the Politburo’s regulation No. 126 dated February 28, 2018, on some issues of political protection within the Party.”
Accordingly, the Sub-committee for Internal Political Protection concludes that Mr. Bui Van Cuong “has no act of plagiarism” after many months of consideration.
Smeared before the Party Congress?
The press quoted Mr. Bui Van Cuong as saying that there was a “media campaign” to defame him on the eve of the Party’s National Congress.
According to Mr. Cuong, the distortion campaign against him was very methodical. Initially, this group blogged, sent emails to spread defamatory information, then hired “some guys” to stand in the name of the denunciation; asked some newspapers and magazines to write articles and finally hired KOLs (Facebookers with many followers) on social networks to make “dirty news storm.”
Mr. Cuong also affirmed that many newspapers and radio stations did not file denunciations because they contacted the province’s leadership and viewed the results of the Ministry of Education and Training and Maritime University, checked the contents of the denunciations and understood them as false crazy, and fake. “Except for the Environment and Society Journal which intentionally do not verify information,” Cuong said.
On the morning of September 30, the Environment and Society Journal was also sanctioned by the Press Department for incorrect information about the Secretary of the Dak Lak province’s Party Committee.
According to this decision, the Environment and Society Journal was fined VND50 million and suspended for two months.
Around the end of August 2020, the journal published the article “Secretary of the Party Committee of Dak Lak is accused of plagiarism and scholarly fraud?” believed to be of Dr. Pham Dinh Quy.
The article documented the doctoral thesis denunciation of Mr. Bui Van Cuong of having three theoretical research chapters that have copied about 70% of the previously published works.
This article shows evidence that Mr. Cuong has also copied from other publications but did not cite the source and cite false documents.
Mr. Quy thinks that this is an academic lie, according to the regulations on doctoral training of the Vietnam Maritime University, Mr. Cuong is not eligible to defend his thesis. However, Mr. Cuong was still granted a doctorate.
The BBC also noted that after the Dak Lak police conducted urgent arrests of denunciators, Mr. Bui Van Cuong’s doctoral thesis had disappeared on the website of Vietnam Maritime University.
Journalist Hoang Manh Ha, former secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Law Journal, wrote on Facebook: “The Institute’s website has a section to store PDFs of master’s and doctoral theses since 2017. Mr. Bui Van Cuong defended his doctorate at this school in 2018, but people could not find his thesis. It proves that it has just been deleted when public opinion is noisy around the keyword ship propeller.”
Subsequently, this thesis came back on the website of the Maritime University after a few days.
Dak Lak police arrested two people involved
On the afternoon of September 30, Dak Lak province police announced the urgent arrests Mr. Pham Dinh Quy – lecturer at Ton Duc Thang University (Ho Chi Minh City) – about slander according to Article 156 of the Criminal Code.
Previously, on September 21, Dak Lak police arrested Dr. Hoang Minh Tuan (born 1980, a student of Dr. Quy), who filed a complaint against Mr. Cuong’s “plagiarism” while this person was on his way from the residence in Cu Kuin district moved down to Khanh Hoa.
As the BBC reported, on September 23, Dr. Pham Dinh Quy and his wife were suddenly surrounded by eight police in plain clothes. After that, the police asked Mr. Quy to take them to his home for search. Next, Mr. Quy was taken to the Ho Chi Minh City Police Department to work, and later the policemen took him to Dak Lak.
At the time of the incident, Mr. Quy’s family assumed that this was an abduction because the family did not receive any notice.
Master Pham Dinh Trang told the BBC on September 30:
“Up to 11 am of September 30, 2020, I have just received a notice from the police of Dak Lak province. In those two notices, the notice slip of the Dak Lak post office on September 27, 2020.”
According to Mr. Trang, it was nine days since his son was “invited to work” he had received any notice.