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Ex-minister’s master programme thesis also shows plagiarism

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Prague, July 21 (CTK) – Petr Krcal, who recently resigned as Czech labour minister over plagiarism in his thesis closing his bachelor programme studies in 2007, also committed plagiarism in his master programme thesis in 2009, as the first 17 pages of each of the two theses are identical, Czech Television (CT) said on Saturday.

On Tuesday, Krcal (Social Democrats, CSSD) resigned as labour and social affairs minister amid a scandal around plagiarism in his thesis from 2007, which he defended at Tomas Bata University in Zlin (UTB), south Moravia, and whose text has now turned out to be largely copied from older texts by other authors.

Krcal has also stepped down from his posts in the CSSD.

Krcal defended his master programme thesis, dealing with the leisure time of adults, at the Prague-based private Jan Amos Komensky University (UJAK) in 2009.

CT said the first part of this thesis is fully identical with Krcal’s previous thesis from UTB.

UJAK spokesman Jan Cervenka told CT that the university’s archive documents say Krcal’s studies were a success and that he successfully defended his thesis in the andragogy master programme.

However, in 2009, the university still did not use the anti-plagiarism system to detect paragraphs and formulations copied from older texts. UJAK started using the system in 2012 only.

Krcal, who resigned after 20 days in the post, was the second member of the ANO-CSSD cabinet, appointed on June 27, to step down. One week before him, Tatana Mala (ANO) resigned as justice minister, also over suspected plagiarism in her theses.

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