A small but telling detail about the proximity of News of the World’s star reporter Mazher Mahmood to the Metropolitan Police.
Over on Bellingcat, Joe Public has noticed that senior Met Officers never even asked about the provenance of the gun used in the Beckham Kidnap fiasco – which saw five people jailed on remand for months. A complaint about this led to Operation Canopus – into the Fake Sheik‘s activities
Then, on October 17th 2005 the Guardian ran a Roy Greenslade piece under the headline; “Police probe News of the World stories” – it was a report into the existence of Operation Canopus Two. For the first time a police investigation into Mahmood was out in the open.
But this investigation into Mahmood in 2005 apparently exonerated him, even though he told them:
“I’ve got bent police officers that are witnesses, that are informants.”
via bellingcat – Did Scotland Yard Cover-Up Beckham Kidnap Evidence So The Fake Sheikh Could Be Their Star Witness?.
Earlier during that interview on 26 October 2005 Mazher Mahmood also told investigators from Operation Canopus.
“I’ve got some senior officers in Britain who are also my informants”
This is a full SIX YEARS before the police launch Operation Elveden, into corrupt payments paid to police by News International journalists. Why the delay? And how can we trust the Fake Sheikh’s activities can be fully and appropriately investigated by the same police force he worked so closely with?
In his own words, some were bent. And he was also in contact with senior officers – probably way above the pay grade of those investigating him.
In his autobiography Mahmood boasts of meeting the former Met Commissioner Lord Stevens for drinks, with his then boss Andy Coulson. As the Press Gang notes this was in 2003.
It was shortly after the Crown Prosecution Service decision to abandon charges in the Beckham kidnap affair because one of Mahmood’s informants was considered an unreliable witness …