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‘Fake Sheikh’ Reporter Charged

Mazher Mahmood, a British journalist whose undercover work posing as a “fake sheikh” led to a number of high-profile criminal court cases, was charged on Tuesday with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Mahmood, well-known for revealing wrongdoing amongst politicians, TV and film stars and even royalty, was suspended by Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper in July last year after the collapse of a celebrity trial in which he was a main witness.

The journalist had given evidence in the drugs trial of Tulisa Contostavlos, a former judge on the British version of the “X Factor” TV talent show. She had denied being involved in the supply of drugs to Mahmood while he posed as a film producer, but her trial collapsed with the judge saying he suspected the reporter had lied to the court. Nick Vamos, Deputy Head of Special Crime at Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it was in the public interest to charge Mahmood and another man, Alan Smith. “This decision comes after it was alleged that Mr Smith agreed with Mr Mahmood to change his statement to police as part of a trial in July 2014, and that Mr Mahmood then misled the court,” Vamos said. (RTRS)

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