Former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg of Germany, who resigned last month amid accusations that he had plagiarized portions of his doctoral thesis, this week assured Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany that he would provide a full explanation of the circumstances behind the situation, the online news site The Local reported. According to reports last week, an investigation by the University of Bayreuth, which had awarded Mr. Guttenberg his doctorate in law in 2008, concluded that he had intentionally copied portions of his thesis, The Local reported. Mr. Guttenberg, who admitted when he resigned from his government post that he had made errors, has moved to block the release of the university’s inquiry.
His lawyers have written to the University of Bayreuth, saying they would object to the report’s publication on privacy grounds. Deutsche Welle reported that the university’s president told one German newspaper that his institution wanted “to make the conclusions public” because of the “strong public interest in the university’s appraisal of the case.”
The intense coverage of Mr. Guttenberg’s case has apparently prompted increased scrutiny of the academic credentials of other politicians in Germany, where doctoral degrees are common among business and political leaders. On Tuesday, the University of Heidelberg confirmed that in response to anonymous tips it received on Monday it had begun an inquiry into the doctoral dissertation of the German politician Silvana Koch-Mehrin, a deputy speaker of the European Parliament, according to Agence-France Presse. The charges against Ms. Koch-Mehrin were apparently brought to light by the online group VroniPlag Wiki, whose members worked to expose the allegations against Mr. Guttenberg.