BERLIN, February 10 (RIA Novosti) - German Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan announced her resignation on Saturday following a plagiarism scandal, Spiegel Online reported.
The minister, whom the German magazine describes as “one of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's closest confidants,” was stripped of her doctorate by the University of Dusseldorf on Tuesday. 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 during a joint press conference with Merkel.
"Annette Schavan offered me her resignation last night," 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 Merkel cabinet resigns over plagiarism allegations. In 2011, Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg stepped down after being accused of having plagiarized large sections of his Ph.D. thesis.