THE current Defence Minister of Germany, Ursula von der Leyen, has been accused of plagiarising large parts of her doctoral thesis.
News has been released by German newspaper Der Spiegel, from information published in plagiarism-hunting website VroniPlag Wiki, which claims to have found “elements of plagiarism” in at least 27 of the 62 pages of the dissertation written by Ms von der Leyen 25 years ago. According to this website, at least 43.5 per cent of the total thesis has been plagiarised.
She has since denied the accusations and announced that a she ordered a completely independent and neutral board of experts to analyse her thesis when she heard of the plagiarism claims. Ms von der Leyen graduated as a doctor at the Hanover Medical School in 1987 and became a ‘Doktor in Medicine’ in 1991.
Two other members of Angela Merkel’s cabinet have already stepped down after having their doctoral theses scrutinised and taken back due to plagiarism allegations.