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Serbian minister urged to quit amid claims PhD was plagiarised

Sinisa Mali denies any wrongdoing but Belgrade University has declared his paper annulled.

Serbian minister Sinisa Mali has denied any wrongdoing (Darko Vojinovic/AP)
Serbian minister Sinisa Mali has denied any wrongdoing (Darko Vojinovic/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Serbia’s finance minister is facing calls to resign after a university claimed he plagiarised parts of his PhD thesis.

Belgrade University, arguably Serbia’s most prestigious place of learning, said in a statement that Sinisa Mali “literally took over texts, or entire paragraphs, from the texts of other authors without listing the names of the authors”.

I know I didn’t do it Sinisa Mali

University dean Ivanka Popovic told state broadcaster RTS that Mr Mali’s 2013 paper, which focuses on restructuring and privatisation, will be annulled.

Mr Mali has denied the accusation.

He said: “I know I didn’t do it.

“Right now, I am interested in Serbia’s budget (for 2020) and to do the job Serbian citizens pay me for.”

But the accusation has prompted calls for the resignation of Mr Mali, who is a close ally of President Aleksandar Vucic and previously served as the mayor of the capital Belgrade.

An anti-government movement has called a protest rally for Monday.

PA

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