Hungarian President Pal Schmitt stripped of doctorate

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Hungarian President Pal Schmitt at the Maria Theresia Hall of the presidential palace in Budapest, 22 March 2012Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Mr Schmitt has rejected accusations of wrongdoing

A university in Hungary has stripped President Pal Schmitt of his doctorate after it found that large parts of his thesis were plagiarised.

Budapest's Semmelweis University conducted an inquiry into the award after reports surfaced in a newspaper in January.

The university's rector condemned a "violation of scientific norms".

Mr Schmitt, whose role is largely ceremonial, has denied the accusation, and resisted calls for his resignation.

A former Olympic fencing champion, Mr Schmitt wrote his thesis in 1992 as part of a degree from the University of Physical Education, later absorbed by Semmelweis University.

A committee on Tuesday said more than 200 pages of the 215-page document either showed "partial similarity" to other works or were direct translations.

But it also blamed the university for failing to notice the copying or alerting Mr Schmitt to it.