Johann Hari, the journalist at the Independent who was suspended for plagiarism, has announced that he will not return to the newspaper. Hari had been undergoing retraining in the United States and was expected to return to the Independent next month but said on his personal website that he did not want to see colleagues taking the blame for his mistakes. Hari started writing for the Independent in 2002 but criticism of his work mounted and reached a critical point in 2011. He was accused of using other writers' material in his articles without making reference to it. In articles interviews with Gideon Levy, an Israeli journalist, and Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, Hari used quotes which had been given by those subjects to other journalists. Hari was also accused of altering his Wikipedia entry and attacking critics on the website using a pseudonym. On his website, Hari said: "I'm willing to take the flak for my errors myself: when you screw up, you should pay a price. But I'm not willing to see other people, who played no part in those errors and are unimpeachably decent people, take the flak, too. It's not fair on them. "The Independent has been great to me, and we need its principles in the public arena without distractions." He said he plans to research and write a book as well as continuing to write occasional articles. Hari was suspended last year pending an inquiry by the former Independent editor Andreas Whittam Smith. The findings of the inquiry were not made public but the newspaper reported in September 2011 that Hari admitted the plagiarism allegations and would attend a journalism training course before returning to the paper. Chris Blackhurst, the editor of the Independent, said on Friday: "Johann Hari has informed me that he has decided to leave the Independent to pursue his book project. We thank him for his hard work and his contribution to the papers, and wish him every success for the future." Although the Independent had agreed to take Hari back, many media commentators believed his reputation had been too compromised and his return could damage of the credibility of the newspaper. Blackhurst was asked several questions about Hari when he gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry into journalistic ethics earlier this month. "On the plagiarism, Johann genuinely believed he was doing nothing wrong. The fact that nobody complained, Johann did not believe he was doing anything wrong. His reputation has been very, very severely damaged; the Independent's reputation in terms of Johann Hari has been severely damaged," he told the inquiry. theguardian .