Public might not see findings on Gaddafi thesis

A report into allegations that Saif Gaddafi's London School of Economics doctoral thesis was plagiarised may never be made public.

November 3, 2011

The University of London is currently investigating the allegations. Only after that report is finalised will the LSE reveal the findings of a separate probe into the institution's links with the Gaddafi regime.

Lord Woolf, the former Lord Chief Justice, has been asked by the LSE to investigate its decision to accept a £1.5 million donation from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, as well as the institution's other Libya links and the plagiarism allegations.

Asked if there was a scheduled date for publication of its report, a University of London spokesman said: "This is necessarily not a quick process given the large number of allegations that have been made in the media and the need to sort speculation and hearsay from fact.

"A panel has been convened to obtain and consider the evidence...[it] will present its conclusions and recommendations to the vice-chancellor. The degree is from the University of London, and the decision is therefore entirely one for the university to make."

The spokesman added that it "is the university's policy not to release any information relating to individual students, past or present, into the public domain". But he said that the university "realises that there has been much speculation about (the) thesis" and that the question of "whether, and if so what, information might be made publicly available" was "under consideration".

This week it emerged that David Held, a professor of politics who was caught up in the scandal, is to leave the LSE and take a post at Durham University on 1 January.

Professor Held, often described as an "informal academic adviser" to Saif Gaddafi during his time at the LSE, will become chair of politics and international relations and master of University College at Durham. He and the LSE both said that the move was for "academic reasons".

Professor Held had been a co-director of the LSE's Global Governance research centre, for which the Gaddafi foundation made its gift. The centre was shut on 31 July.

john.morgan@tsleducation.com.

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