Guttenberg escapes Bundestag probe

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13 Apr, 2011 Updated Wed 13 Apr 2011 08:44 CEST
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The Bundestag will not pursue a complaint for breach of copyright against Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a spokesman said Wednesday in the first piece of good news for the former defence minister mired in a plagiarism scandal.

Bundestag President Norbert Lammert’s spokesman, Guido Heinen, told daily Der Tagesspiegel’s Wednesday edition that Lammert had consulted the parliament’s “Council of Elders” and concluded there “was no need” to lodge a legal complaint.

Guttenberg still faces legal scrutiny however: an alleged victim of his plagiarism is lodging a legal complaint against him, daily Berliner Zeitung reported late on Tuesday.

Guttenberg stands accused of misusing material from - among others - the Bundestag’s Research Services, an office that provides MPs with specialist information, analysis and expert opinions. As the copyright holder of the services’ work, the Bundestag has the right to pursue breaches.

Guttenberg resigned at the beginning of March in the wake of accusations he plagiarized large sections of the doctoral thesis.

Lammert had previously been outspoken in his criticism of Guttenberg, describing the plagiarism affair as “a nail in the coffin of trust in democracy.”

Despite having resigned, Guttenberg still faces intense pressure over the affair. Members of his own Christian Social Union party – the Bavarian conservatives – have publicly aired their annoyance at reports that he tried through his lawyers to block his former university, the University of Bayreuth, from publishing the findings of its investigation into the accusations.

“Karl-Theodor should, constructively and without legal maneuvering, co-operate in a full statement about all of the accusations,” former party chairman Erwin Huber told Der Spiegel. “He owes that to his friends and supporters as well.”

On Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Guttenberg to make a full statement on the affair.

Daily Süddeutsche Zeitung has reported that the University of Bayreuth has already reached the conclusion that Guttenberg knowingly cheated by copying sections of work from other authors.

The Local/djw



2011/04/13 08:44

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