German minister resigns amid plagiarism scandal
Berlin, Feb 10 : German Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan has announced her resignation after she was stripped of her doctorate by a university amid accusations of plagiarism.
Spiegel Online described the minister as "one of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's closest confidants".
The minister was stripped of her doctorate by the University of Dusseldorf earlier this week.
The university's faculty council ruled that she committed "intentional deception through plagiarism" and "systematically and deliberately presented intellectual efforts throughout her entire dissertation that were not her own".
Schavan announced her resignation Saturday at a joint press conference with Merkel.
"Annette Schavan offered me her resignation," the German chancellor said, adding that she accepted the resignation with deep regret.
The minister, in her turn, said she "neither copied nor deceived" and will seek to review the decision. Her lawyers said they were preparing an appeal.
This is not the first time a member of the Merkel cabinet has resigned over plagiarism allegations.
In 2011, Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg stepped down after being accused of having plagiarised large sections of his doctorate thesis.