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Complainant Name:
Javid Akhtar

Clauses Noted: 1, 3

Publication: Daily Express

Complaint:

Javid Akhtar complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had published an inaccurate and intrusive article about his conviction for benefit fraud and the benefits he then went on to claim after being released from prison. The article appeared in the print and online versions of the publication.

Resolution:

The newspaper promptly removed the article from its website and the complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following letter from the complainant:

An article in the Daily Express on February 12 headed ‘225k benefit fraud brothers back on state handouts' stated that I was released from jail and immediately started to claim benefits despite owing 220,000 in compensation and court costs. I had, in fact, repaid close to 224,000 in compensation and 20,000 court costs. The outstanding 206,000 owed under the Proceeds of Crime Act is owed by another person. The article also referred to the ownership of a property on West Park Avenue, Leeds. I would like to make clear that I am the sole owner of the property in question and it is not on the market in order to recoup any court fees, compensation or confiscation orders because these have been paid in full to the Crown Court. The article referred to me claiming Jobseekers' Allowance on my release from prison. I was advised to do this by the Job Centre and claiming such benefit did not mean I was breaking any laws.

Javid Akhtar

Date Published: 04/10/2010



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