Posts Tagged ‘Guttenberg’

Guttenberg buys his way out of prosecution for €20,000

November 24, 2011

Paying your favourite charity is apparently sufficient to get German prosecutors to drop prosecution – at least when the offender is zu Guttenberg and the offense is plagiarism.

I had not expected that Germany would still be granting droits de feodalité dominante

Does appear to be “one law for the rich and famous”…

Deutsche Welle:

Bavarian aristocrat and former German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has paid 20,000 euros to avoid prosecution on charges of plagiarism. With the case dismissed, Guttenberg could stage a political comeback.

German authorities have dropped their investigation into plagiarism charges against Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg after the former defense minister agreed to make a donation to a charitable institution.

The public prosecutor’s office said that although 23 passages of Guttenberg’s doctoral thesis possibly violated copyright laws, the monetary damage to the original author was only marginal and Guttenberg had not profited financially.

According to German law, misdemeanor cases can be dismissed if the accused agrees to pay a sum of money, usually to the state or a charitable organization. The court, public prosecutor’s office and the alleged victim all have to agree to the dismissal.

Guttenberg has already wired 20,000 euros ($26,794) to German Cancer Aid, a non-profit organization that supports research into cancer prevention and treatment. The former defense minister can now avoid a criminal record, although the investigation could be resumed if new evidence comes to light.

“It’s a second-rate dismissal, but it’s a dismissal” said Norbert Geis, a legal expert and a parliamentary representative with Guttenberg’s Christian Social Union, a regional ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. ……

Plagiarism was standard practice for Guttenberg

February 27, 2011

Guttenberg has given up his PhD and the University of Bayreuth has now rescinded it after the Googleberg affaire. But it seems that for  Guttenberg plagiarism is a long standing and regular habit and not just an opportunistic effort for his PhD and certainly not the unwitting mistake he claims it was.

Photo: DPA

"zu Googleberg" the Copycat Minister: photo DPA

Der Spiegel carries an article about the moral bankruptcy in Germany and reports on the discovery by the Gutenplag Wiki that he had plagiarised also in 2004.

The GuttenPlag Wiki website also found a 29-page analysis from 2004 that Guttenberg, then a representative in the German parliament, wrote for the Hanns Seidel Foundation. According to the site, the document contains passages that have been taken from other sources with minimal changes and not attributed. A spokesperson from Guttenberg’s legislative office told SPIEGEL ONLINE that the case involved an “editorial text” and not an academic one, and pointed out that the sources were all listed in an attached literature review.

Meanwhile, Bild published a survey Thursday in which 87 percent of the respondents said they believed Guttenberg should stay in office. More than 260,000 people called and faxed in to the toll line. The headline on the newspaper’s front page Thursday was “Yes, we stand behind Guttenberg!” However, on Friday, an ongoing online poll on the newspaper’s website found that 57 percent of the more than 680,000 surveyed wanted Guttenberg to step down.

Jürgen Trittin, floor leader of the Green Party, on Thursday spoke of a “dirty deal” between Guttenberg and Axel Springer AG, which owns Bild. It was announced this week that the newspaper will be a major recipient of new advertising that the government is planning to help with recruitment for the German military, the Bundeswehr, which is soon to become a volunteer army. A spokesman for the media company told SPIEGEL ONLINE this week that the editorial offices only learned of the advertising campaign from the media on Thursday, after the telephone poll.

Critics also pointed out that the tabloid in the past also defended Guttenberg’s controversial trip to Afghanistan in December with his wife Stephanie, which was decried as a publicity stunt by his opponents.

Ther are other writings by Guttenberg that are being criticised. Even Angela Merkel may have to back away from the support she has been giving to her Defence Minister to exploit his popularity before the impending local elections.

Guttenberg’s star with Merkel could more likely be tarnished by what a report said she regarded as an “only very rudimentary and poorly-considered basis for decisions about reform of the Bundeswehr.”

Der Spiegel reported at the weekend that criticism of his work at the Defence Ministry from the Chancellery was much harsher than previously thought.

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