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Sunday, February 27, 2011

PhD degree of Qaddafi’s son can be revoked if plagiarism proved |World[Tripoli{TRIPOLI - Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam could be stripped of his PhD degree if allegations of plagiarism against him are proved.

Amid claims that his LSE thesis may have been ghost -written, the LSE is investigating allegations of plagiarism and in a statement yesterday, confirmed a degree can be “revoked if there are substantiated concerns about the manner in which it was attained - for example if there is a later discovery of plagiarism,” The Independent reports.

After getting his PhD in 2008, Saif al-Islam made a controversial �1.5m gift to the LSE from his organisation, the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation (GICDF) in 2009, the paper said.

Professor Held said that he became a trustee after an initial decision was made, in June 2009, to accept the money. He said that an LSE Council meeting several months later (October 2009) raised the issue “that being on the board may involve a conflict of interest with the grant” and he was asked to step down.

” Would I accept that I should have been on the board? No, but I’m glad that the LSE took the decision to say I should have come off it, and I did,” he said.

Professor Held denies any impropriety. Although he was not Saif al-Islam’s PhD supervisor, he met him as “an informal advisor”, and recalled that he “was not a great student” but improved.

“After he handed in the thesis, there was a rumour that he may not have been the sole author… I wrote straight away to his supervisor, but there was no substantial evidence,” Professor Held added.

Yesterday, a statement issued by the LSE Students’ Union said: “LSE students are angry and upset that university officials are using degrees at the LSE to raise vast sums of money. There are serious questions about Saif al-Islam’s PhD, and we call for an external investigation into the matter.” (ANI)

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