Germany probes university professors over corruption charges

Prosecutors say they are investigating 100 professors across Germany on suspicion they took bribes to help students obtain doctorates.

ch/AFP/AP
Editor: Toma Tasovac

Germany | 02.04.2008

Cologne prosecutors' spokesman Guenther Feld confirmed on Saturday a report in German news magazine Focus that the professors were believed to have been paid through an intermediary firm.

"Supervising a thesis is a task that is part of a public service," Feld told the Neue Westfaelische regional newspaper. "Accepting a payment for it is unacceptable."

Focus reported that the professors from a dozen German universities took payments of between 4,000 and 20,000 euros ($5,700 and $28,600) to grant doctorates to students.

The price of success

The magazine said the investigation was launched after the offices of the private Institute for Scientific Counseling at Bergisch-Gladbach near Cologne were searched in March.

The institute reportedly acted as a facilitator between the students and the academics.

The head of the institute was sentenced to three and a half years in prison early last year for acting as an intermediary in the case of a Hanover law professor who helped students obtain a degree in exchange for financial or sexual favors.

The professor at Hannover University was found guilty of taking bribes worth 184,000 euros ($264,000) through the Institute, and organizing degrees for 61 students whose exam results weren't up to scratch. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

ch/AFP/AP
Editor: Toma Tasovac

Germany | 08.09.2007

The institute reportedly acted as a facilitator between the students and the academics.

The head of the institute was sentenced to three and a half years in prison early last year for acting as an intermediary in the case of a Hanover law professor who helped students obtain a degree in exchange for financial or sexual favors.

The professor at Hannover University was found guilty of taking bribes worth 184,000 euros ($264,000) through the Institute, and organizing degrees for 61 students whose exam results weren't up to scratch. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

ch/AFP/AP
Editor: Toma Tasovac