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Fake sheik denies perverting course of justice in Tulisa Contostavlos case

By | Published on Friday 26 February 2016

Tulisa

Former Sun and News Of The World journalist Mazher Mahmood, aka the “fake sheikh”, has denied conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in relation to the legal action that stemmed from a sting he orchestrated for the Sun On Sunday targeting Tulisa Contostavlos.

As previously reported, Contostavlos was put on trial accused of doing a deal to supply cocaine during the sting operation led by Mahmood. However, the trial collapsed when the judge presiding accused the journalist, who had given evidence against the one time N-Dubz member and ‘X-Factor’ judge, of “serious misconduct to the point that the integrity of the court would be compromised by allowing the trial to go ahead”.

It was claimed that there were inconsistencies in statements Mahmood had made to the court between a pre-trial hearing and the main trial. These related specifically to statements made by Contostavlos and overheard by the journalist’s driver Alan Smith, which led the judge to believe that Mahmood had been “manipulating the evidence”.

Which means it’s now Mahmood who is facing trial. He has been charged with perverting the course of justice, specifically by conspiring with Smith that he would change a draft statement to the police.

Mahmood and Smith attended a plea hearing in relation to the case this week, and formally denied the perverting the course of justice charge. The judge hearing the case then set 19 Sep as a trial date, with a pre-trial review due to take place on 10 Jun.

Contostavlos has repeatedly hit out at Mahmood, and the tactics he employed to get a story, accusing the journalist of entrapment. The fake sheikh told Contostavlos that he could get her a high profile film project, and then exploited the resulting relationship to try to persuade her to get him illegal drugs, all in a bid to run a “popstar deals cocaine” story.



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