Mazher Mahmood, the undercover reporter in the UK known as the “fake sheikh,” is still on trial in the UK for his actions involving UK pop star Tulisa.
Mahmood was charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice last year over his role in the Tulisa Contostavlos case, as iMediaEthics has reported. Because he reported that Tulisa secured cocaine for him when he was undercover, posing as a film producer, she ended up being charged. She denied the drug charges, but her friend pleaded guilty to supplying the cocaine. However, Tulisa said she thought she was auditioning for an acting role.
The case against Tulisa was thrown out when the judge accused Mahmood of lying and manipulating evidence against the pop star, as iMediaEthics reported at the time. Mahmood falsely said he hadn’t talked to a driver, Alan Smith, about what to tell police regarding the matter, even though he had discussed what Smith said in a statement to police.
The Sun suspended Mahmood in 2014 over the incident. The Sun told iMediaEthics this week, “He is currently suspended while an internal investigation takes place.” iMediaEthics has written to Mahmood’s lawyers for comment.
When charging Mahmood, the UK Crown Prosecution Service said he “misled the court” in Tulisa’s trial.
Prosecutor Sarah Forshaw questioned why the pair didn’t testify during the trial. She claimed that Mahmood “wanted to make his mark, bring in a big story, one that would sell newspapers and show off to his new employers,” the Guardian reported, noting that Mahmood had just started working for the Sun when he was investigating Constavlos.
After the case against Tulisa was thrown out, another case involving Mahmood’s undercover work was dismissed. Six others who were convicted related to Mahmood’s investigations want to appeal.