German ex-minister writes 'plagiarism' apologies: media

13th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The former German defence minister who quit over claims he plagiarised parts of his doctoral thesis has written apologies to people whose texts he is said to have used, media reported Sunday.

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, 39, resigned on March 1, two weeks after the claims of plagiarism broke.

"While I was writing up my thesis, I used your text and I used word for word certain passages without mentioning the author in the scientifically correct manner," he wrote, according to the Der Spiegel and Focus.

"I wish to expressly offer you my apologies," he added, according to extracts of the letters published in the two magazines' Monday editions.

The one-time star of Angela Merkel's government also gave up his role as a parliamentarian because of the scandal.

German prosecutors have said they are investigating if he broke the law in connection with his dissertation, including possible copyright infringements.

Around 100 complaints have been made against him.

His alma mater, Bayreuth University, withdrew his doctoral degree, awarded in 2007, and Zu Guttenberg himself has admitted "serious errors" in his work.

© 2011 AFP

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