Prague, July 24 (CTK) – Czech Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar (for ANO) faces a suspicion of plagiarism in his university thesis and he would consider resignation if it were confirmed, public Czech Television (CT) reported today.
Metnar did not properly quote all sources listed in his thesis from 2004, CT said.
Immediately after broadcasting the TV report, the Defence Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek wrote CTK that Metnar had cancelled his planned Wednesday visit to Slovakia, where he was to meet his Slovak counterpart, over a change in his working programme.
The plagiarism suspicion concerned his MA thesis on collective investments that he defended at the Faculty of Education of the University of Ostrava, north Moravia.
It includes a list of the used sources, but there are only very few direct references to them in the text. At least eight pages are completely copied from another book or their text is only slightly modified without clear references to the source, CT reported.
“This thesis lacks references to the cited sources,” expert Jan Mach, from Prague’s University of Economics (VSE), told CT.
Metnar said the plagiarism suspicion had surprised him. “I am sure I have cited all sources,” he told CT.
He said he would study his thesis again and if the suspicion were confirmed, he would consider his resignation.
In the past three weeks, the media highlighted suspicions of plagiarism in university theses of justice minister Tatana Mala (ANO) and labour minister Petr Krcal (Social Democrats, CSSD). Mala resigned over this on July 9 and Krcal a week ago.
Both ministers defended their theses at Czech universities before 2008 when a special software was developed to reveal plagiarism.
Mala was replaced by a legislative expert from the Government Office, Jan Knezinek (for ANO), whom Zeman appointed a day after her departure. He is to name Krcal’s successor Jana Malacova on July 30.