A man denied posing as a victim of the Grenfell Tower disaster to net £60,000 of aid meant for survivors when he appeared in court today (FRI).
Abdelkarim Rekaya, 28, appeared at Isleworth Crown Court charged with fraud by false representation and obtaining permission to remain in Britain by deception.
Rekaya, of Chelsea, west London, who appeared via videolink from Wandsworth Prison, followed proceedings with the help of a Tunisian interpreter.
He had also been granted permission to stay in Britain after claiming he lived in the tower, which was gutted by fire on June 14 2017.
Rekaya denied both charges during the brief hearing and is expected to face trial on November 26.
The charges allege Rekaya falsely claimed he “had been a resident in Grenfell Tower and was therefore entitled to housing, emergency payments, food allowances and other services being provided to survivors of the fire”.
It is also said he sought to obtain leave to remain in Britain by “claiming that you had been a resident in Grenfell Tower and was therefore entitled to leave to remain in the UK under special provisions made available to survivors of the fire”.
Both charges were said to have happened between June 13, 2017 and June 8, 2018.
Bearded Rekaya, represented by Anthony Metzer QC, appeared before Judge Phillip Matthews with curly hair and wearing a grey prison t-shirt.
He spoke only to confirm his name, nationality and date of birth and to enter his pleas.
Tens of millions of pounds have been raised for survivors of the blaze, which claimed 72 lives.
But several people have been convicted of fraud after falsely claiming they lived in the block to receive handouts totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds.