Acton Driving School Linked To Sale of Lethal Drugs

Driving School owner gets BBC to make small change to story

BBC Today Programme

Daily Mail

Reprieve UK

The owner of the Acton-based driving school Elgone Academy told has contacted the BBC and asked them to correct the press view that his driving academy is connected with the sale of lethal injection drugs to a US prison.

Mr. Mohsen Panah, owner of the driving school located on Horn Lane, told that he had contacted the BBC's Today programme and asked them to remove any reference to his driving school within their story.

Yesterday, Mr. Panah reacted with dismay when told of the headline on today's Daily Mail and BBC websites.  Within hours, headlines across the internet, print and broadcast media directly linked Elgone Driving School with Dream Pharma.

Yet Mr. Panah repeatedly insisted that he'd only rented the office space to Mehdi Alavi, 50, who Dream Pharma, which was named by the Reprieve UK, a group lobbying for prisoners' rights, as the supplier to the state of Arizona of three drugs needed for the execution of convicted murder Jeffrey Landrigan.

By today, the BBC had added a paragraph to the bottom of its internet coverage of the story which read "A spokesman for the Elgone driving academy said, "although his company and Dream Pharma share the same building, they are totally unconnected organisations."

The story has raised questions about whether British firms should be involved in this sort of trade. Ealing Central and Acton MP told that nothing illegal took place and pointed to recent announcement by Business Secretary Vince Cable to bring in a licence to restrict the export of sodium thiopental.

"It does seem bizarre that those states and countries that continue with the death penalty are not able to provision themselves with what they need, and instead come to rely on suppliers from countries like ours, which abolished the death penalty a long time ago, ” Bray said.



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06 January 2011

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