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Koch-Mehrin keeps European Parliament seat despite plagiarism

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Koch-Mehrin keeps European Parliament seat despite plagiarism
Photo: DPA
15:45 CEST+02:00
Free Democrat politician Silvana Koch-Mehrin, who was stripped of her doctorate after it was found that she plagiarized parts of her thesis, will keep her mandate in the European Parliament, it was reported on Saturday.

Quoting unnamed sources within the Free Democratic Party leadership, an advance copy of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported that the FDP had decided to take no action against Koch-Mehrin, once considered a bright new hope for the party.

But there is resistance to the decision from within the FDP's parliamentary faction. Parliamentary spokesman Martin Neumann said Koch-Mehrin should "think about the responsibility she has to her mandate."

Neumann told the newspaper that she had made a mistake, and that there was no shame in admitting it. He added that the plagiarism scandal had damaged both the FDP and German academia.

In May, the scandal forced Koch-Mehrin to give up her positions as chair of the FDP in the European Parliament, as well as her membership of the FDP executive committee and her job as Vice President of the European Parliament.

The FDP-affiliated Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation, which sponsored Koch-Mehrin through her doctorate, denied any responsibility. Foundation director Christian Taaks said, "The foundation has neither the personnel or specialist resources to assess the academic quality of the theses it sponsors."

Three other FDP politicians, also supported by the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation, currently face accusations of plagiarism.

The Local/bk

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