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New minister facing plagiarism allegations

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Prague, June 28 (CTK) – The thesis written by New Justice Minister Tatana Mala (ANO) bears signs of possible plagiarism, experts told Czech Radio (CRo) on Thursday.

The system uncovering frauds has found a repeated concurrence with Internet contributions and the work by a different author in the thesis Mala wrote at a private university in 2011, CRo said.

Mala has denied the allegations.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said it was up to Mala to explain the affair.

Babis, now taking part in the EU summit in Brussels, said he would discuss the affair with Mala on Friday.

“I presume she will explain it somehow. I will be with her tomorrow and I will certainly take interest in this,” he added.

“As far as I know, she refuses the allegations. It is up to her to explain this,” Babis said.

Mala’s thesis, dealing with the family law, contains undeclared passages from a thesis by someone else, written at Masaryk University in Brno five years before, CRo said.

In one case, Mala even took up the original text along with two typing errors, CRo said.

“In Mala’s work, there is at least 5 percent of the text concurrent with that written by Mrs Grossova. One can presume that the amount is even higher,” Jan Mach, who is in charge of uncovering plagiarism at the School of Economics, said.

Along with the thesis, Mala copied or used without references a part of a textbook on the Czech family law, experts said.

“One can say that in this way, the thesis acquired the demanded scope in order to fulfil the demanded number of pages. On the other hand, one has to say that in this respect, this is plagiarism,” family law expert and university lecturer Stanislav Balik told CRo.

When writing the thesis, Mala also used the Internet without naming the source, the server said.

Mala, appointed as justice minister in Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s government of ANO and the Social Democrats on Wednesday, has denied any wrongdoing.

“Of course, this is my authorship work. Of course, I did use citations,” she told CRo.

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