Socialist Worker

Mazher Mahmood found guilty but tougher questions remain about the ‘Fake Sheikh’

Issue No. 2525

‘Fake Sheikh’ Mazher Mahmood with a couple of his greatest hits

‘Fake Sheikh’ Mazher Mahmood with a couple of his greatest hits


Mazher Mahmood, known as the “Fake Sheikh”, has been found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

He altered evidence in the collapsed drugs trial of singer Tulisa Contostavlos.

His driver Alan Smith was found guilty of the same charge.

Mahmood’s links to Southern Investigations may now come further into light.

Socialist Worker has long argued that the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan lies at the heart of the phone hacking scandal.

Daniel worked for private investigators Southern Investigations. It provided material through a variety of illegal means.

A cop would tell Southern that someone was dealing drugs. The firm would have drugs planted on someone or have someone try to buy drugs. The papers got an exclusive, the cops got an arrest and everyone got paid.

Mahmood told the Leveson Inquiry, “I stopped working with them at the end of 1992 or early 1993.”

But in 1999 the company carried out “confidential inquiries” into “illegal immigration” after receiving a “request” from “Maz Mahmood”.

One police document from an investigation into Southern from the same year reads, “Source met Maz, a News of the World reporter.

“On this occasion Maz was with a plain clothes officer. The officer was selling a story to Maz.”

The story in question was one of entrapping immigrants.

Mahmood and his team would dump a group of migrants at a detention centre and try to get them deported after taking cash off them for work.

He told one police inquiry, “I’ve got bent police officers that are witnesses.” The police did not deem it necessary to follow this up.

In the spring of 2000, anti-corruption cop Bob Quick submitted a report. It came out of the third investigation into the murder of Daniel Morgan.

The report named three News of the World (NOTW) journalists to be investigated. They were Alex Marunchak, Gary Jones and Mazher Mahmood.

The report is now lost.

In 2002 the police again looked at the Daniel Morgan murder. Southern got the NOTW’s Investigations to undertake surveillance of the officer heading the inquiry. Cops caught the surveillance van but did nothing more.


the things they say
  • ‘Sick of croissants and looking forward to a full English breakfast’

    Despite being a health tourist Ukip’s Steven Woolfe complains about hospital food
  • ‘Handbags at dawn, girl on girl’

    Mike “right” Hookem explains how Woolfe ended up in hospital after Hookem did or didn’t hit him ‘
  • Alpha male boasting’

    Nigel Farage after footage emerged of Donald Trump bragging about how he sexually assaulted women
  • ‘It’s one thing to have homosexual tendencies or a sex change but another thing to teach it in schools’

    Pope Francis has a moment ‘
  • Capitalism and democracy is in crisis. The West is in retreat’

    Former chancellor George Osborne
  • ‘To allow British submarines to be built using French steel is the ultimate betrayal’

    Labour MP John Mann

Was the cops’ cash for honours probe corrupt?

Scotland Yard’s financial crimes team was investigated by the force’s anti-corruption unit over links to private investigators.

Risc Management, set up by retired detectives, met former colleagues in the unit that investigated the MPs’ expenses scandal and allegations of “cash for honours”.

Documents described the private investigators as operating like “an organised crime network”.

Over 300 calls were made to Risc and cops over 12 months, according to the report.

One of the officers allegedly involved was given a “dirty” mobile phone to hide their contacts.

Risc was set up by Stephen Curtis.

Curtis was a lawyer who worked for Russian oligarchs before he died in a helicopter crash.

The documents say that the firm was hired to “review” the police’s criminal file, and that Risc then offered to “find some dirt”.


Troublemaker regular former Chief Constable Norman Bettison is bringing out a book on Hillsborough despite being under IPCC investigation.

It’s called Hillsborough Untold. Presumably the title refers to him not telling Merseyside Police when he applied to be chief constable that his break in Yorkshire came on a black propaganda unit that sought to blame Liverpool fans for the disaster.


From black ops in Iraq to ‘Prevent’

The head of a media consultancy responsible for promoting the government’s Prevent strategy previously worked for the PR company used to deliver “black ops” propaganda in Iraq.

Richard Chalk was appointed head of the Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU) in 2012.

Chalk worked in Baghdad between 2005 and 2006 for Bell Pottinger.

Between 2007 and 2011 Bell Pottinger was paid £412 million by the US Department of Defense for “information operations and psychological operations”.

Breakthrough Media, the company behind many RICU-backed “counter-extremism” products is also linked to the Iraq work.

Scott Brown, a director at Breakthrough Media, worked as part of Bell Pottinger’s team in Baghdad in 2006. Breakthrough Media’s director of research is Andrew Sharples who was a campaign manager for Bell Pottinger in Iraq in 2010.


The Sun promotes ‘hate speech’

The Sun and Daily Mail have been singled out in a report on “hate speech” and discrimination.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance criticised tabloids’ “offensive, discriminatory and provocative terminology”.

Its report said hate speech was a serious problem, including against Roma, Gypsies and Travellers, as well as “unscrupulous press reporting” targeting LGBT+ people.


The Guardian ran a story about Jeremy Corbyn not getting a seat on a train during the summer.

It caused a bit of a fuss, with Virgin trains taking offence.

The article was 282 words.

Last week the paper published an article explaining why it shouldn’t have published the first article. It was 1,880 words.


EBay’s bid for tax avoidance

EBay paid only £925,000 corporation tax on UK sales topping £1 billion last year.

The auction site cut its British tax bill from

£11 million by channelling payments via other countries.

Accounts of eBay’s US parent firm show UK sales of £1.1 billion in 2015. Yet it reported just £185.8 million from its British business.

The tax it paid on £8 million profits was 12 percent, almost half the 20 percent corporation tax rate.


David Cameron goes clubbing

Members at the Carlton Club have become irritated by David Cameron’s appearances on their turf. His security guards have been blocking other Carltonians from using the smoking terrace while Dave has a fag.

One spluttered, “He’s acting like a bloody oligarch.”

Cameron is said to have also returned to the super-elite and aristocratic White’s club. He “resigned” in 2008 over its refusal to admit women members.

Many think this was a bluff. “One doesn’t resign from here on a whim,” a member said. “It’s not like being prime minister, you know.”


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