The Movement of Free Citizens said on Nov. 26 that the statement whereby Education Minister Mladen Sarcevic "attempted to justify intellectual property theft, i.e. the plagiarism of Sinisa Mali, MA," was shameful.
"The minister said that he would not let Sinisa Mali, MA, resign because he was doing a good job!? Can all thieves steal in their free time because they're doing a good job? Is the minister of education, who is a geography professor, competent to evaluate the quality of the finance minister's work?" the Movement said in a press release.
The Movement added that the job of the ministry headed by Sarcevic was to maintain and improve the education system, rather than to award diplomas or titles to those "who possess neither knowledge nor competence."
"We ask the minister not to transfer to the ministry he is managing the habits he took from the private schools he owns and not to send the message to our hard-working and smart children that learning and work are unnecessary because one can copy, steal someone else's work! Instead of supporting the decision of the University of Belgrade Professional Ethics Committee and promoting work, learning and morality, the minister supports intellectual theft and fraud whereby something that honest people need years of hard work to achieve is accomplished in an immoral way, via a shortcut," reads the release.
Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development Mladen Sarcevic said on Nov. 25 that if he were Sinisa Mali's boss, he would not let the minister resign, and added that the story around Mali's doctoral dissertation was "colored with politics."