German university: Defense minister can keep doctorate

A German university has decided that the country's defense minister can keep her doctorate although some plagiarized passages were found in her thesis dissertation from 25 years ago.

Hanover Medical School president Christopher Baum said Wednesday a panel found no fraudulent intent on the part of Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

He said that "we are talking about errors, not misconduct, and that is the decisive difference." He added that the errors didn't call into question the thesis' scientific value.

Von der Leyen, who was traveling Wednesday in the U.S., has denied accusations of plagiarism.

German politicians' doctorates have been under scrutiny since two Cabinet members had to step down in recent years after being found to have plagiarized part of their dissertations.