Prague/Sofia, July 7 (CTK) – New Justice Minister Tatana Mala (ANO) should probably step down if it is proven that she copied someone else’s work in her theses, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) told Czech Radio (CRo) today.
Babis said on Monday, Mala was to express her position on the allegations at a meeting of ANO members of the Chamber of Deputies.
Czech media reported last week that experts revealed that she copied part of her thesis from a source she did not quote. Mala graduated in law at the private Pan-European University in Bratislava.
This week, the media wrote that Mala copied parts of her other thesis which she defended at the Mendel University in Brno in 2005.
Mala has denied any wrongdoing.
Due to the scandal, the opposition has demanded that Mala resign.
CRo asked Babis whether Mala should resign if her plagiarism were confirmed. “If it is so, probably yes, but I have not spoken with her and she claims it was not so. So there is one argument against another one,” Babis said.
“I hope she will defend her cause,” he added.
Mendel University Rector Danuse Nerudova told Novinky.cz news server that Mala on microclimatic conditions in breeding rabbits apparently copied 11 pages of text from a thesis of another student, who wrote about a similar topic two years before she did.
Mendel University spokeswoman Jirina Studenkova told CTK that Mala’s thesis would not pass through the system detecting plagiarism now.
Studenkova said it was very hard or even impossible to reveal plagiarism in 2005 because theses were not available in digitised form.
In a press release, Mala said she was surprised that journalists dealt with a thesis which she wrote 13 years ago.
“However, it is no problem for me to defend it, same as I will do in case of the steps I take and the decisions I make as minister. I repeatedly say that I worked hard on my thesis and spent a long time working on it,” Mala said.