Nina Fehrüssel (43) will start her work as SVP Landraadsmember on Monday. Either she swears “before God Almighty that she will uphold the Constitution and the laws” and conscientiously fulfill the duties of her office – or she ignores God and promises to simply do so. In any case, she promises to work diligently.
It is precisely this conscientiousness that is questioned by doctor Nina Fehrüssel. This is exactly the doctorate that the Zurich woman campaigned on. Fehr Dünsel Blick had the court forbid him from wondering whether the politician rightly bears this title. Even before the article was written.
Snout for look
On October 27, Blick received mail from the Meilen ZH court. In it, the court issued a super-preliminary injunction that prohibited Blick from writing to Fehrüssel about allegations. Judge Verena Seiler banned Blick from “making any direct or substantive claim until further notice” that Fehrüssel’s thesis was plagiarized. Blick defended himself against this snout in court.
With the ruling of November 28, a month after the writing ban, Blick now has the court’s blessing to do what Blick would have done without the super-provisional ban: he may reproduce the current facts.
Finally, it is now known that plagiarism researcher Stefan Weber (53) accuses Fehrüssel in a report of having worked unlawfully in numerous places in her dissertation. Weber writes about 31 “plagiarism fragments”.
This is public not only because the ‘NZZ am Sonntag’ reported on it, but also because the neo-national councilor herself did what she wanted to have Blick banned: On her website she wrote about the accusations – from her point of view: “My dissertation is not plagiarism, but a scientific work that I have been working on for six years in addition to my professional work.” Fehrüssel also made a similar statement to Blick.
As Nina Fehrüssel admits, it is clear that in a work of 220 pages there can be very few minor careless errors in footnotes. Former law professor Rainer J. Schweizer (80) points out what the ‘Code of Scientific Integrity’ says. It states that plagiarism may occur if third-party works are used with minor adjustments or translations without correct source acknowledgment.
Fehr Dünsel describes Weber on its website as ‘controversial’. The fact is: he is the most famous plagiarism hunter in German-speaking countries. The list of personalities he accuses of copying the formulations of others is long. The most prominent person in this regard is the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (42). She took back the book from which she allegedly copied.
In his report, Weber explains why he came across a “serious suspicion of plagiarism” in Fehrüssel’s dissertation “Pre-contractual reporting obligation – consequences for the insurer”. In his report he refers to several word-for-word copies of the text, without citing the source.
On page 44, Fehrüssel writes without citing the source: “The answers represent a unilateral statement of intent about dangerous facts that demands acceptance.”
According to the report, André Largier copied almost verbatim from the 2005 original, page 3: “These answers represent a unilateral statement of intent on dangerous facts that requires acceptance.”
Or on page 84 by Fehr: “In my opinion, there is no reason to put the insurer in a worse position compared to the deliberately misleading policyholder by applying the VVG than would be the case if the Works Council were to apply.”
Original by Stephan Fuhrer: “There is, however, no reason to place the insurer in a worse position compared to the deliberately misleading policyholder than he would be if the Works Council were to submit an application.”
Here she identifies Führer’s statements as her own view. She makes it clear that this is her own reflection.
The university takes the allegations seriously
But how does the University of Zurich view the allegations? In principle, she takes all reports of suspected scientific misconduct seriously and investigates them, she writes to Blick.
Not all of Weber’s plagiarism accusations led to the confiscation of dissertations. For example, Austrian former Federal Minister Christine Aschbacher (40, ÖVP) resigned after Weber’s allegations.
It is also unclear to Nina Fehrüssel what conclusion the University of Zurich will come to. The media will probably keep a close eye on them now anyway.
I am Liam Livingstone and I work in a news website. My main job is to write articles for the 24 Instant News. My specialty is covering politics and current affairs, which I’m passionate about. I have worked in this field for more than 5 years now and it’s been an amazing journey. With each passing day, my knowledge increases as well as my experience of the world we live in today.