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Czech Communist lawmaker accused of thesis plagiarism

Prague, Czech Republic – Zdeněk Ondráček, an MP from the Czech Communist Party (KCSM), has been accused of plagiarizing part of his doctoral thesis at the time he was studying at Palacky University in Olomouc, Moravia, local media reported.

According to reporters from Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes, over half a dozen excerpts from his thesis, sometimes one page-long, were plagiarized from other books and students’ work he failed to cite.

Zdeněk Ondráček, who finished his doctoral studies in 2011, categorically denied the accusations. On Facebook, the Czech Communist MP said that he had faced such allegations for several years and is now considering taking legal action to clear his name.

Although assuring that his thesis, written on the topic of the pathological phenomenon of violence within families, had at the time been checked with an anti-plagiarism software, Palacky University said that the matter would once again be looked into. They should submit their conclusions within one month.

This is not the first time top Czech politicians and cabinet members see their political career tainted by such scandals. Last year, verified allegations of diploma plagiarism already claimed the heads of Justice Minister Taťána Malá (ANO) and Labour Minister Petr Krčál (Social-Democrats).

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.