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Complainant Name:
Mr Egon Von Bulow

Clauses Noted: 1, 3, 4

Publication: The Sun

Complaint:

Mr Egon Von Bulow complained to the Press Complaints Commission through Lewis Silken solicitors that two articles about his release from prison (and his subsequent activities) contained a number of inaccuracies. He said that many of the inaccuracies had first appeared in a Sun article of 2006, which had also been the subject of a PCC complaint. On that earlier occasion, The Sun had agreed to mark its archive files to ensure that the mistakes would not reappear. Indeed, after the recent articles were published, the complainant discovered that the previously complained of piece from 2006 was still available on the newspaper's website. As a result, he lodged a further complaint about the inaccuracies in that report and The Sun's failure to remove the piece from the internet.

In addition to the complaints of inaccuracy under Clause 1 (Accuracy), the complainant said he had suffered an invasion of privacy (especially in relation to a photograph showing him going about his daily life) and had been subject to harassment because a Sun journalist had followed him across town.

Resolution:

The newspaper acknowledged that it had failed to follow-up the complaint about the 2006 piece properly; it also acknowledged a number of inaccuracies. It contested the complaints about invasion of privacy and harassment.

The complaints were resolved when the PCC negotiated publication of the following apology in the newspaper:

On 6 & 19 March 2010 we published articles on the release of Egon Von Bulow, 63, after serving 36 years for the murder of a policeman. They contained allegations we previously accepted were wrong when first published in 2006. We would like to make clear Mr Von Bulow was never held in a psychiatric unit and never met or tried to kill Moors Murderer Ian Brady. We should also have made clear he denies an obsession with Nazis and there is no evidence on the 1974 court file to this effect. We also accept he was never called the 'Jackboot Killer' and his Parole Board assessment prior to release specifically found no evidence of a severe personality disorder as we alleged. We apologise for these errors and their further publication.

A similar apology, in the following terms, was published on the newspaper's website (on the news index for 24 hours then remaining searchable via web browsers):

On 6 & 19 March 2010 we published articles on the release of Egon Von Bulow, 63, after serving 36 years for the murder of a policeman. They contained allegations we previously accepted were wrong when first published in 2006. We would like to make clear Mr Von Bulow was never held in a psychiatric unit and never met or tried to kill Moors Murderer Ian Brady. We should also have made clear he denies an obsession with Nazis and there is no evidence on the 1974 court file to this effect. We also accept he was never called the 'Jackboot Killer' and his Parole Board assessment prior to release specifically found no evidence of a severe personality disorder as we alleged. We apologise for these errors and their further publication. We also regret that the 2006 article in which some of these errors first appeared remained on our website until this year.

Date Published: 16/12/2010



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