German defense minister Guttenberg resigns after losing his PhD for a plagiarized thesis
“I was always ready to fight but I’ve reached the limit of my powers,” Guttenberg, 39, told journalists in a hastily arranged news briefing at the Defense Ministry in Berlin.
“I informed the chancellor in a very friendly conversation that I’m resigning from political offices and requested to be relieved. It’s the most painful step of my life.”
As we wrote last week, a Bremen University professor first discovered the plagiarism, which was then explored a wiki. The University of Bayreuth took away his doctorate on Wednesday the 23rd.
Alice Bell noted in a comment yesterday that there was an uproar over the case. At least one political scientist has said German Prime Minister Angela Merkel may suffer political damage because of it, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, it turns out that zu Guttenberg is not the only politician dogged by copy and paste allegations. The London School of Economics is looking into whether Saif al-Islam, embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi’s son, plagiarized his thesis. That case is complicated by the fact that al-Islam’s Gaddafi International Charity and Development Organization gave the school 1.5 million British pounds in 2009, a year after he earned his PhD.