Yesterday, the CPS announced it has dropped three cases and is re-investigating another 25 after a BBC Panorama documentary detailed the potentially questionable ways one of News UK’s most senior and prolific reporters, Mazher Mahmood, obtained his stories using his famous Fake Sheikh identity.
The night before, at the second Leveson memorial lecture delivered by Tom Watson, the BBC reporter John Sweeney, who presented the Panorama documentary, revealed that the current Attorney General, Jeremy Wright, intervened not once but twice to try to get his Fake Sheikh documentary stopped.
This is unprecedented. Normally, the Attorney General can only intervene when charges have been brought and the Contempt of Court Act locks in.
The first question therefore is: who put pressure on the Attorney General to intervene in a BBC documentary, which was delayed twice under legal pressures? Was it the CPS? The Police? Mahmood’s lawyers at Kingsley Napley? Or News UK? Or a combination of those above?