By Matt Robinson
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s prime minister leapt to the defense of his interior minister, a close ally, on Tuesday after three UK-based academics alleged the latter had plagiarized his doctoral dissertation.
The website that published their accusations was downed by online attackers.
Police launched an investigation into the attack on the Pescanik (Hourglass) website, which coincided with complaints by Europe’s chief rights and security watchdog about what it called a “worrying trend” of censorship of online criticism of the government.
Pescanik on Sunday carried an article by three Serbian academics based in Britain who analyzed the doctoral dissertation of Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and concluded it was “heavily plagiarized”.
Stefanovic has denied any wrongdoing. He could not be reached by phone on Tuesday.