Other dark arts at the News of the World – Fake Sheikh investigated by police just before Phone Hacking operation

A timeline on the Fake Sheikh, News of the World and police investigations by my  occasional contributor, Joe Public. Crossposted at Bellingcat.

Scotland Yard investigated Fake Sheikh Mazher Mahmood 9 YEARS AGO – in 2005 just four months before they initiated a phone hacking case into his newspaper. Like operation Caryatid, there isn’t a trace of a follow up or outcome despite the evidence that triggered the investigation being accepted in TWO courts. Instead, just 8 months after opening the investigation, the Yard publicly declared; “it would not rule out working with the paper again” after the collapse of a trial both Met and NotW brought to court together.

These events started when in 2004 when the Met Police [SO13] joined forces with News of the World on a fake sheikh sting “Red Mercury -Dirty Bomb”. Both the Met and Mahmood have confirmed working together since, as Mahmood told the Press Gazette; “the entire job I was basically working for Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorism squad”.

A year earlier, another fake sheikh story: a Victoria Beckham kidnap plot case was thrown out by the Crown Prosecution Service before the trial started because the main prosecution witness had been paid £10,000 by Mahmood. Continue reading

The Fake Sheikh and Leveson – for reference

Another guest post to compliment the two by Joe Public, this time by occasional contributor and Leveson-expert Mr Ceebs – crossposted at Bellingcat

Several places have commented on things that Mazher Mahmood said in front of the Leveson Inquiry, but he was mentioned quite a bit more than that. In light of the collapse of the Tulisa Contostavlos trial it’s time we ran across all the other mentions in the evidence, some positive, some not so positive. Most of these are slightly large, and have to be to provide a level of context. The numbers at the beginning of paragraphs are the line numbers where individual questions or responses start, other line numbers have been deleted for space and readability reasons. I haven’t included his own evidence, as that is easy enough to find on the website. Here and here Continue reading