Montenegro Seeks Interpol Help in Plagiarism Row


News
19 Jun 15

Montenegro Seeks Interpol Help in Plagiarism Row

Montenegrin police have requested international police assistance to probe plagiarism allegations made against the Science Minister, Sanja Vlahovic.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN

Podgorica

Montenegro’s prosecutor’s office has told the country’s police to seek Interpol’s help to determine whether Science Minister Sanja Vlahovic plagiarised her scientific work, media reported on Thursday.

The state prosecutor interrogated Vlahovic in May over claims that she plagiarized her research on tourism, after a watchdog, the Center for Civic Education, filed a law suit.

The director of the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, from the UK, Dimitrios Buhalis, has called on the minister to apologize and resign, claiming that she “literally copied” part of his research, entitled “Destinations’ Competitiveness in Modern Tourism”.

“We have asked Interpol to help, to prevent any delays that might occur,” the daily newspaper Vijesti quoted a police official on Thursday.

Police said that cooperation with Interpol could speed up the procedure and facilitate the collection of evidence, as the person whose professional work was allegedly plagiarized is foreign national.

After the affair broke last October, the minister denied the claims, saying her scientific paper had undergone strict controls and that the issue should not be on the agenda.

She explained that such papers have to undergo six or seven checks.

“I stand firmly in my moral identity and I will certainly continue performing my duties professionally, clean and committed to what should be significant for the country,” she said.

Plagiarism claims hit Serbia last June when a group of Serbian expatriate academics said the PhD of the then speaker of parliament, Nebojsa Stefanovic, had been copied.

The doctorates of Stefanovic’s mentor, Megatrend University President Mica Jovanovic, Belgrade Major Sinisa Mali and politician Aleksandar Sapic were also called fraudulent.

However, an expert commission formed to investigate the matter backed the authenticity of Stefanovic’s and Mali’s works.

In April, Slovenia’s Education Minister, Klavdija Markez, resigned after only five days in office following media reports that her master’s degree thesis was not her own work.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)