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The Sun suspends 'Fake Sheikh' Mazher Mahmood

The Sun has suspended undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood after the judge in the Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial said there were "strong grounds" to believe he had "lied" at a pre-trial hearing.

A statement from the newspaper said: "We are very disappointed with this outcome, but do believe the original investigation was conducted within the bounds of the law and the industry's Code. This was demonstrated by the CPS decision to prosecute,

"The Sun, of course, takes the Judge's remarks very seriously. Mr Mahmood has been suspended pending an immediate internal investigation."

Read: Tulisa judge: 'Strong grounds' to believe reporter 'lied'

Tulisa urges police to investigate 'Fake Sheikh'

Tulisa Contostavlos has urged police to investigate undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood - known as the 'Fake Sheikh - and "put an end to his deceits".

She was speaking after her trial on drugs charges collapsed with the judge telling jurors there were "strong grounds to believe" that Mr Mahmood had "lied" at a pre-trial hearing.

Read: Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial collapses

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Tulisa co-defendant Michael Coombs walks free

The co-defendant in the the Tulisa Contostavlos trial has also walked free after the judge decided the case against him could not proceed.

Michael Coombs, known as Mike GLC, also walked free after the trial collapsed.
Michael Coombs, known as Mike GLC, also walked free after the trial collapsed. Credit: PA

Rapper Michael Coombs, whose stage name is Mike GLC, had pleaded guilty before the trial to supplying half a gram of cocaine to undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood.

On hearing the decision the 36-year-old reportedly wept and hugged his defence barrister, Jeremy Dein QC.

Read: Tulisa judge: 'Strong grounds' to believe reporter 'lied'

Tulisa punches the air as trial collapses

Tulisa Contostavlos punched the air with delight and hugged supporters after her trial was thrown out at Southwark Crown Court.

The former X Factor judge had been accused of brokering a cocaine deal with an undercover reporter, a charge she strongly denied throughout.

Tulisa Contostavlos hugged supporters after her trial collapsed.
Tulisa Contostavlos hugged supporters after her trial collapsed. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The judge threw out the case after deciding there were "strong grounds" to believe that the undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood had "lied" at a pre-trial hearing.

Read: Tulisa judge: 'Strong grounds' to believe reporter 'lied'

Tulisa judge: 'Strong grounds' to believe reporter 'lied'

The judge in the trial of Tulisa Contostavlos told the jury there were "strong grounds" to believe an undercover reporter had "lied" at a hearing before the trial began.

Judge Alistair McCreath was speaking as he threw out the case at Southwark Crown Court.

The Sun's Mazher Mahmood - known as the 'Fake Sheikh' - had posed as a wealthy film producer when he met Contostavlos at a number of hotels and restaurants.

The former N-Dubz singer strongly denied that she had helped broker a drug deal between Mahmood and her rapper friend Michael Coombs, also known as Mike GLC.

Read: Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial collapses

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'Fake Sheikh' denies 'spiking' Tulisa's drink, court hears

The undercover reporter known as the "Fake Sheikh" has told the trial of Tulisa Contostavlos it was '"outrageous" to suggest he spiked the former X-Factor judge's drink.

Giving evidence at London's Southwark Crown Court, Mazher Mahmood, denied "manipulating" the 26-year-old after he told her she was being considered for a leading role in a Slumdog Millionaire-type film, possibly co-starring Leonardo Di Caprio.

The court previously heard that Contostavlos spoke about being able to get "white sweets" - allegedly code for cocaine - while at the Metropolitan Hotel with Mr Mahmood on May 10 last year.

Tulisa Contostavlos arriving at Southwark Crown Court.
Tulisa Contostavlos arriving at Southwark Crown Court. Credit: PA

The prosecution suggested that Mr Mahmood and his colleague "Nish" spiked Contostavlos's drink to "manipulate" her when they met at the hotel.

Mr Mahmood replied: "Absolutely outrageous."

Under further cross-examination, Mr Mahmood told a court he wanted to "expose criminality" and denied the reason for the expose was to create a "sensational story".

Tulisa, of Friern Barnet, north London, denies being concerned in the supply of class A drugs between May 10 and May 23 last year.

The jury was sent home and told to return to court on Monday.

Read: Tulisa 'helped supply drugs to secure Hollywood film role'

Tulisa said she could get "white sweets," court hears

Former X factor judge and N-Dubz star Tulisa told an undercover reporter she could get hold of "white sweets" in an apparent reference to cocaine, a court heard.

The five-star Dorchester Hotel in London where the drugs deal with an undercover reporter took place.
The five-star Dorchester Hotel in London where the drug deal with an undercover reporter took place. Credit: PA

The singer "did not negotiate the price or amount" but "did all she could to make a supply of cocaine happen," prosecutor Tim Cray said.

He added Tulisa's role in the deal at London's Dorchester Hotel in May last year was "instrumental."

Tulisa's 'close friend' Mike GLC, whose real name is Michael Coombs, has already pleaded guilty to supplying 13.9g of cocaine.
Tulisa's 'close friend' Mike GLC, whose real name is Michael Coombs, has already pleaded guilty to supplying 13.9g of cocaine. Credit: PA

The trial at Southwark Crown Court continues.

Tulisa 'helped supply drugs to secure Hollywood film'

Former X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos helped supply cocaine to an undercover reporter because she thought he was a Hollywood film producer who could "get her a part in a big movie," a court has heard.

Tulisa arriving at Southwark Crown Court.
Tulisa arriving at Southwark Crown Court. Credit: ITV News

The 26-year-old singer allegedly boasted she could "sort out" drugs for a man she knew as Samir Khan but who was actually Sun on Sunday journalist Mazher Mahmood, also known as the 'fake sheikh.'

Southwark Crown Court heard she was "keen to be in his good books" to get the part with Leonardo DiCaprio as her possible co-star.

She put Mr Mahmood in touch with her rapper friend Mike GLC who supplied the cocaine at a late-night rendezvous at London's five-star Dorchester Hotel last May, jurors heard.

The singer also allegedly bragged that her ex-boyfriend was a "major cocaine dealer" and she used to be part of a gang who sold crack cocaine.

Mike GLC, whose real name is Michael Coombs, 36, pleaded guilty on Monday to supplying half an ounce (13.9g) of cocaine for £860.

Prosecutor Tim Cray told jurors Tulisa was "instrumental" in setting up the deal.

She denies one charge of being concerned with the supply of class A drugs. The trial continues.

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