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LEAD: German education minister will fight plagiarism ruling Eds: adds Schavan statement

Europe
06.02.2013
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Johannesburg/Berlin (dpa) - German Education Minister Annette Schavan said Wednesday she will fight a university‘s decision to revoke her doctorate in a plagiarism scandal.

The case around Schavan, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, has become a liability for the conservative government as it readies for elections in September. Merkel has so far stuck by her.

On Tuesday, Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf revoked Schavan‘s 1980 doctorate in the latest case of a high-ranking German politician ensnared in an academic plagiarism scandal.

In 2011 Merkel‘s then-defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a rising conservative star, resigned and quit politics over a plagiarism scandal in which his doctorate was also revoked.

Schavan, 57, said in a brief statement released during a South Africa visit: "I will not accept the decision of Duesseldorf University and will take legal action against it.

"In view of the ongoing judicial proceedings, I ask for your understanding for the fact that I won‘t make any further statements today."

Schavan had previously said she was innocent of having copied parts of her doctoral thesis, entitled People and Conscience, without proper citation.

Merkel voiced support for Schavan last month, while opposition parties have called for Schavan to step down. dpa ltr fxz jln

 

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