By Joe Public
Sun on Sunday reporter Mazher Mahmood released a statement yesterday attacking BBC for being “irresponsible” and “not in public interest” who are “hell bent” to broadcast Panorama exposing his career as a fake sheikh entrapping targets before shopping them to police.
In what seems like his final attempt to the stop public broadcaster, he has astonishingly referred to the Attorney General’s request to the BBC to reconsider screening the 30 mins programme.
The BBC proposes to broadcast, it would appear whatever the evidence shows, a programme designed to condemn my career as an investigatory journalist. They are doing so while there is an active investigation being carried out by the Metropolitan Police into the collapse of the Contostavlos trial. I am cooperating fully with the police inquiry and have not been arrested.
However because a decision will be taken shortly on whether any proceeding should be brought, the BBC has been asked by the Attorney General of England and Wales to consider delaying the broadcast to wait on any decision to prosecute, so as not to prejudice any proceedings should they be brought. They are ignoring this and seem hell bent on broadcasting, whatever effect it may have. This is deeply irresponsible and not in the public interest or in the interests of justice, but unfortunately in line with the attitude they are taking around their programme in general.
These are extraordinary claims from a man who has collapsed 16 criminal cases – since JULY only.
In the last 11 years, at least two other cases have collapsed – one of them where ironically, the judge referred the matter to the Attorney General “to consider the temptations that money being offered in return for stories concerning celebrities give rise to” – as well as a conviction quashed AFTER the defendant had served his sentence because Mahmood had deliberately hid a witness [Florim Gashi, hired by Mahmood] who was deemed too unreliable at the trial, to strengthen the prosecution.
At the quashing hearing in 2010, Nicholas Bowen QC for the defendant Besnik Qama said:
“Mr Mahmood knew there was little or no prospect Mr Qema being brough to or convicted after a “fair and impartial trial” because he was aware that the crucial evidence on which the prosecution would be based, was that of Gashi, who’s evidence could not be relied on by the prosecution; and because he know Mr Qema had been entrapped and that if the circumstances of the entrapment had been known, it was unlikely that prosecution would be brought.”
The Independent reported Ben Rose from law firm Hickman and Rose has been contacted by several people who claim they were unfairly convicted on the basis of investigations by Mahmood in the aftermath of the collapse of the Tulisa Constavlos trial
At the same time, the Crown Prosecution Service announced they were reviewing over 30 old and new cases where evidence was given by Mahmood. They have since dropped 15 of the cases so far.
Tulisa Constavlos – Drug dealing
Dr Majeed Ridha and pharmacist Murtaza Gulamhusein – Illegal supply of abortion drugs
Leon Anderson PR – Drug dealing
DJ Campbell [Blackburn], Ian Goodison and Akpo Sodje [Tranmere], Christian Montano [Oldham], Sam & Stephen Sodje and another seven others – Football match fixing
In reply to Mahmood’s statement, a BBC spokesman bluntly said:
We have nothing further to say. We will let our programme speak for itself when we broadcast it.
Panorama will be broadcast by BBC tonight or tomorrow night.