A MAN who spent 17 years in jail wrongly convicted of rape shouldn't have to pay back his living costs, Rishi Sunak believes.
Andrew Malikson, 57, was last week cleared of the crime after years of legal wrangling – and finally released.
But it might have costs for the time he spent behind bars knocked off his compo deal.
Ministers are under pressure to change the rules to protect those people who were wrongly jailed from getting access to their cash in full – to make up for the huge injustice.
Downing Street said the PM didn't think that was fair and was looking into the matter.
Mr Malikson is currently "living on benefits" since being freed.
The PM's press secretary said: "In principle, for someone who is wrongly convicted, I don't think the prime minister thinks it would be fair for them to have to repay costs.
"He has been speaking with the Home Office and with others in government to establish the facts and ensure that the approach is right and fair."
Mr Malkison was jailed in 2004 for an attack on a woman in Salford – but his conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal.
He tearfully spoke last week about his case felt "like a bad dream happening in real time" and his "joy at finally telling the world the truth".
Mr Malikson could be in line for a bumper payout of up to £1million for wrongful imprisonment.
However, previous cases have seen 25 per cent of their payouts knocked off them to pay for other costs like accommodation and food.
Speaking about what he could be owed, he said: "I feel very strongly about this – somehow, the prison service has lobbied the government so that even if you fight tooth and nail to gain compensation, you have to pay the prison service a large chunk of that for so-called board and lodging."
Tory MP Sir Bob Neil said: "Any fair-minded person thinks this is just wrong. This was a serious miscarriage of justice.
"It's clearly not right that somebody who was deprived of their liberty, because of the failures of the state and its institutions for a number of years, then should pay the state or be obliged to give some money back to the state, for the privilege of having been wrongly incarcerated."
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A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "This was a deeply troubling case and we recognise the pain of any individual punished for a crime they did not commit – which is why we continue to support the work of the independent Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).
"It is only right victims of miscarriages of justice can apply for compensation and that all requests are properly assessed independent of government."
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