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Complainant Name:
Mr Paul Hamilton

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Sunday World

Complaint:

Mr Paul Hamilton complained to the Press Complaints Commission through Kevin R Winters & Co Solicitors of Belfast that two articles published in January 2010 contained allegations about him which he considered to be inaccurate. In particular, the complainant was concerned that the article alleged that: he was a special branch agent working within a Force Research Unit (FRU) ‘nutting squad'; he had been involved in the kidnapping of Martin McGartland in 1991; and was to face possible criminal proceedings arising out of the McGartland claim. The complainant denied all the allegations.

Resolution:

The newspaper said that it had relied heavily on Mr McGartland in its story, and made no apology for doing so. The allegations relating to the kidnapping had been made previously, including in Mr McGartland's book. In addition, the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) had confirmed that a decision on whether to prosecute was "still under active consideration".

Notwithstanding these points, the newspaper gave an assurance that - if it were to repeat the FRU allegation - it would include the complainant's specific denial of the claim. The complaint was resolved on this basis.

Date Published: 07/10/2010



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