28 Jul 2009

Court told of ex-immigration chief's academic record

2:35 pm on 28 July 2009

Former immigration service head Mary-Anne Thompson submitted a draft thesis that was not up to PhD standard, a London School of Economics registrar has told a depositions hearing.

Ms Thompson faces three fraud and dishonesty charges relating to her curriculum vitae, in which the Crown claims she falsely asserted she had a PhD.

The academic registrar of the London School of Economics, Simeon Underwood, told Wellington District Court on Tuesday that paperwork held by the university does not explain what happened to her thesis from that point.

Mr Underwood said via video link from London that systems have since changed, and staff would now track the progress of a thesis after it was submitted.

Defence lawyer Robert Lithgow, QC, said Ms Thompson's thesis disappeared into a "black hole".