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MP faces investigation over use of dodgy 'Dr' title

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MP faces investigation over use of dodgy 'Dr' title
Photo: www.jasper-mdb.de
08:58 CET+01:00
German authorities are investigating a federal member of parliament over his use of a dodgy “Doctor” title, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors in Münster in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia will begin preliminary proceedings this week against Christian Democratic MP Dieter Jasper, called “the fake doctor of the CDU” by the paper.

Jasper bought his doctorate from a dubious Swiss institute in 2004, the paper reported.

The immunity committee of parliament, the Bundestag, was preparing in the next few days to look at the case. The committee would have to overturn Jasper's immunity in order for a prosecution to go ahead.

Abuse of a title such as “Dr” carries a fine or up to one year's imprisonment in Germany.

Jasper has protested his innocence, saying he was taken in by a conman and had been “silly enough” to be believe the promise of a doctorate, according to media reports.

“One should keep this in perspective. What has happened? I bore a title that I wasn't allowed to use. But in the meantime, I've corrected that.”

Expert Manuel Theisen, of the Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich, said the Free University of Teufen in Switzerland, from whom Jasper received his doctorate in 2004, had been known since the 1980s as a “title mill” that awarded degrees purely in exchange for money.

Jasper issued a statement this week expressing his “fullest confidence” in the investigation activities of the state prosecutor, which he said was “the most objective authority in the world.”

He vowed to co-operate fully in order to “work towards a speedy dismissal of the proceedings.”

The opposition Social Democrats have called for Jasper's resignation.

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