'Fake Sheikh' Mazher Mahmood in court following Tulisa drugs trial collapse


The court case against the undercover reporter known as the "Fake Sheikh", charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice after the collapse of the drugs trial of pop star Tulisa Contostavlos, is due to begin.

The first appearance of Mazher Mahmood takes place today at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.

He is alleged to have misled the court, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

The 52-year-old is charged alongside Alan Smith, 66, a retired driver from Norfolk.

Both men have been charged with the same offence stemming from the trial of former N-Dubz star Contostavlos, 27.

She went on trial last year after allegedly brokering a cocaine deal which featured in an expose in The Sun on Sunday in June 2013 following an investigation by Mahmood.

She denied a charge of being concerned with the supply of class A drugs.

In July last year, a judge threw out the case at Southwark Crown Court.

Ms Contostavlos's rapper friend Mike GLC was also cleared, despite admitting supplying half an ounce (13.9g) of the drug.

Mahmood spent 25 years as an undercover reporter and claimed to have helped put more than 100 criminals behind bars.

News UK, which publishes The Sun, has said that Mahmood remains suspended from the newspaper.