German minister under pressure over Ph.D. thesis

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Associated Press

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 5:33 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 15 at 6:36 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel says she has full confidence in her education minister, who is facing questions about whether she plagiarized her doctoral thesis.

Merkel told reporters Monday that Annette Schavan has promised to provide information to the University of Duesseldorf, and the university will evaluate it.

Merkel says "the minister has my fullest trust."

The university has been looking into Schavan's 1980 thesis for several months after an anonymous blogger raised questions about it. German media reported over the weekend that an initial appraisal found questionable passages on 60 of its 351 pages. The school says it won't comment while the investigation is ongoing.

Schavan rejects the plagiarism allegations, telling daily Suedwest Presse she never "knowingly falsely cited any sources."

Merkel's former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned from his post in 2011 after it emerged he copied large parts of his doctoral thesis.

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