Berlin: Germany's Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, embroiled in a plagiarism row, has been stripped of his doctorate degree, a week after it emerged that he copied "numerous" passages in his dissertation. The University of Bayreuth revoked the doctorate title yesterday even as Guttenberg apologised âfrom the bottom of my heart" to Germany's Parliament for errors he blamed on a busy workload, local media reported. The university's ruling was announced by Ruediger Bormann, the varsity president, hours after the postgraduate committee of the law and economy faculty met to take a final call on the 39-year-old Minister's case.However, Guttenberg has refused to resign as Minister over the allegations that he committed plagiarism as a student to obtain his thesis insisting he hadn't deliberately deceived anyone, the reports said."Plagiarism assumes that one has consciously and deliberately cheated. And I have said in all my statements that I neither consciously nor deliberately cheated, but that I did make grave mistakes. It was obviously a very faulty doctoral dissertation. I was so rash as to believe that I could combine my political enthusiasm and work with academic and intellectual challenges while raising a young family. Obviously it was overloading," Guttenberg told German Parliament.Reports alleged last week that Guttenberg had copied tracts of his 475-page thesis from other sources without due credit. Pages from his thesis were published alongside pages from other articles by other authors, and his writings mirror those other articles.The Minister last Friday said that the work "no doubt contains mistakes", but he strongly rejected all accusations of plagiarism.