Weber has not received a test order for Aschbacher’s work, as he emphasized in the KURIER interview. Usually he receives one, in the case of politicians often from other parties or private individuals. In the present case, a TV interview by Aschbacher shortly before Christmas made him doubt their linguistic qualities and gave him the idea to review the thesis.
The plagiarism software used “resulted in a plagiarism log after just five minutes, which I can only describe as brazen plagiarism”. In contrast to the “complexity of plagiarism cases” by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (the German ex-defense minister resigned in 2011 after it became known) or Frank-Walter Steinmeier (today’s German Federal President was allowed to keep his doctorate in 2013 despite citation errors and technical defects), Aschbacher’s work is To be described as “clumsy”, the master’s degree at the FH must be revoked, according to Weber.
The minister’s spokesperson only wanted to tell the KURIER that the work had been drawn up “to the best of my knowledge and belief”, assessed by “recognized professors” and rated “very good”.
The supervisor of the thesis, Professor Karl Pinczolits, told the KURIER that one had to “examine the matter substantially” and ask what criteria were then applied to such a thesis. Also on the part of the FH itself it was only said yesterday that they had “heard of the allegations from the media and will examine them, assess the facts and, if necessary, take action”.
In addition, it turned out yesterday that Aschbacher has also completed a dissertation at the TU Bratislava. The previous day there was only talk of a submitted synopsis. It is now certain that the defensio (the intended defense in front of a university committee) of the dissertation took place in August 2020. Aschbacher’s spokesman says, however, that he can rule out that the minister was working on her dissertation in addition to her political work – in one of the country’s most serious crises. Rather, this was given in December 2019, i.e. before the government took office in January 2020.