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News Round-Up Week Ending 7.10.16

(Posted on 06/10/16)

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News Round-Up Week Ending 7.10.16

Fake Sheikh Convicted:

Undercover journalist Mazher Mahmood has been found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

The reporter was found to have altered evidence in the collapsed drugs trial of singer Tulisa Contostavlos, formerly with the band N-Dubz. The verdict throws new doubt on his tactics and evidence.

Three cases based on his evidence have already been abandoned, another 25 have been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. Six have been taken up by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, including that of the former London's Burning actor John Alford. Another 18 people want to take civil legal action. 

Back in 2011, the reporter boasted to the Leveson inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press that he had been personally responsible for more than 250 successful criminal prosecutions, although the figure is probably closer to 70. 

“The real scandal in this case is that Mahmood was allowed to operate as a wholly unregulated police force, ‘investigating’ crimes without the safeguards which apply to the police,” Tulisa’s lawyer, Ben Rose, declared.

A spokesman for Mahmood's employer, News UK, said: "We are disappointed by the news that Mazher Mahmood has been convicted. We do not have further comment at this time."

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal likened Mahmood’s actions to those of paedophile hunters as examples of problems arising from unregulated citizen investigators.

Mahmood’s driver, Alan Smith was also found guilty. Both men will be sentenced on October 21st.