Serbia: Finance Minister S. Mali was left without a doctorate due to plagiarism.

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Response from Belgrade: Nikos Pelpas

The Senate of the University of Belgrade removed the title of Doctor from Finance Minister Sinisa Mali, judging that his doctoral dissertation was, for the most part, a product of plagiarism. The Senate decision is final and puts an end to a process of checking the authenticity of Sinisa Mali’s dissertation which lasted eight years. The top academic body of the University of Belgrade also ruled on December 12, 2019, a copy of Sinisa Mali’s doctorate, but the minister appealed to the administrative court, which requested a review of the case by the Senate.

Sinisa Mali was awarded a PhD in 2013 when she successfully defended her doctoral dissertation at the School of Organizational Sciences on “Creating Value through the Restructuring and Privatization Process – Theoretical Concepts and Experiences from Serbia”. Mali, then mayor of Belgrade, stated in interviews, with a great deal of arrogance, that despite his workload in the municipality, he managed to complete his doctoral dissertation within six months. Rasa Karapantza, a Serbian professor at the European School of Management in Wiesbaden, Germany, could not understand how a mayor of the capital could complete his dissertation in six months, while according to university data worldwide, it takes about two years to complete. . He studied the work of Sinisa Mali and found that it is a copy product. “This is a manipulative form of plagiarism. More than 33% of the dissertation is a copy product “, denounced, in public, in July 2014, Professor Rasa Karapantza, presenting the works from which the minister copied. On the occasion of these complaints, the process of reviewing the authenticity of the dissertation was initiated. The continuous political interventions postponed the issuance of a decision by the School of Organizational Sciences until 2019 when the case was taken over by the Senate of the University of Belgrade and finally removed the title of Doctor by the Minister of Finance Sinisa Mali.

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