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German University rules that former Defense Minister cheated in doctoral thesis

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German University rules that former Defense Minister cheated in doctoral thesis

2011-05-06 22:34:25 GMT+7 (ICT)

BAYREUTH, GERMANY (BNO NEWS) -- The University of Bayreuth on Friday determined that former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg cheated in his doctoral thesis, the DPA news agency reported.

Guttenberg, 39, resigned to his position last March after being involved in a plagiarism scandal over his PhD thesis. He decided to resign as he considered the media focus on him and his doctorate diverted attention away from his role.

He was largely considered as the potential successor of Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, revelations surfaced indicating that he plagiarized large parts of his doctoral thesis in 2006.

The former Minister rejected the claims and only acknowledged that his thesis had footnotes mistakes. The University of Bayreuth later stripped him from his degree which he obtained in February 2006.

The University will publish a 40-page report on the case next Wednesday, after a thorough investigation was launched after the Guttenberg was accused of claiming authorship of other people's work by slightly altering word order and using synonyms.

"After a thorough investigation of allegations against his dissertation, the committee finds that obviously Guttenberg gravely violated the standards of good academic practice and deliberately cheated," said an academic review.

At the time of his resignation, Guttenberg was one of Germany's most popular politicians. He oversaw the drastic downsizing of Germany's armed forces. In addition, he sacked the armed forces chief in 2009 and suspended a naval captain for alleged cruelty to trainees in January.

After the plagiarism scandal, Guttenberg has vanished from public life. He is a baron with a family castle in Bavaria and is married to a descendant of Otto von Bismarck, a former German chancellor.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-05-06

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