UK jury con­victs ‘fake sheikh’ of ev­i­dence-tam­per­ing

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Bri­tain’s no­to­ri­ous “fake sheikh” has been found guilty of try­ing to per­vert the course of jus­tice in a devel­op­ment that may put the brakes on a prom­i­nent jour­nal­is­tic ca­reer.

Re­porter Mazher Mah­mood, known as a mas­ter of jour­nal­is­tic “sting” op­er­a­tions of­ten based on pos­ing as a Mid­dle East­ern ty­coon, was con­victed at the Old Bai­ley court­house yes­ter­day along with his driver Alan Smith.

The 53-year-old re­porter was found guilty of tam­per­ing with ev­i­dence in the col­lapsed drug trial of pop star Tulisa Con­tostav­los and now faces pos­si­ble jail time. The case against her was dis­missed in 2014. It had been based on an elab­o­rate sting op­er­a­tion Mah­mood con­ducted for the Sun news­pa­per.

In the sting, Mah­mood posed as a suc­cess­ful film pro­ducer and dis­cussed a movie role for the singer in which she would share screen time with A-list star Leonardo DiCaprio. Prose­cu­tors said he and Smith, 67, sup­pressed and ma­nip­u­lated ev­i­dence dur­ing the trial. Con­tostav­los said af­ter the charges against her were dis­missed that she had been the vic­tim of “a hor­rific and dis­gust­ing en­trap­ment.”

De­tec­tive Con­sta­ble Jim Mor­ri­son said the case is “a re­minder that per­vert­ing the course of jus­tice is a very se­ri­ous of­fense that goes to heart of our jus­tice sys­tem. We will al­ways take ac­tion where state­ments or other ev­i­dence has been tam­pered with.”

The case has wider im­pli­ca­tions, as Mah­mood has fig­ured in the pros­e­cu­tions of pe­dophiles, arms deal­ers and in the em­bar­rass­ment of public fig­ures, in­clud­ing So­phie, the Count­ess of Wes­sex, who is mar­ried to Prince Edward, youngest son of Queen El­iz­a­beth II.

The Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice is re­view­ing 25 past con­vic­tions linked to Mah­mood and has dropped ac­tive crim­i­nal cases in which Mah­mood was to be a wit­ness. He also faces a num­ber of civil cases that have been filed against him. Mah­mood and Smith are set to be sen­tenced on Oct. 21. — AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.