Germany probes 100 academics over corruption
Professors at a dozen universities throughout Germany are suspected of having pocketed between 4,000 and 20,000 euros to help students obtain the coveted degrees.
Berlin -- Some 100 German academics have come under investigating following reports that they accepted bribes from students in exchange for doctorates, press reports said Saturday.
Professors at a dozen universities throughout Germany are suspected of having pocketed between 4,000 and 20,000 euros (5,700 and 28,600 dollars) to help students obtain the coveted degrees, regional newspaper Neue Westfaelische and weekly magazine Focus reported quoting the prosecutor's office in Cologne.
"Supervising a thesis is a task that is part of a public service," prosecutor Guenther Feld told the Neue Westfaelische. "Accepting a payment for it is unacceptable."
The paper said the investigation was launched after the offices of the private Institute for Scientific Counselling 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 favours.
The academic, who was accused of accepting more than 184,000 euros in exchange for the lenient supervision of the doctoral theses of 69 students, was sent to prison for three years.