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Action on cases involving Mazher Mahmood

04/12/2014

A CPS Spokesperson said: "Following the halting of the trial of Ms Contostavlos and Mr Coombs we took steps to identify current and past cases involving Mr Mahmood as a prosecution witness. We made it our immediate priority to carefully look into live prosecutions in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and any past cases which involved a defendant still in custody. There were no concluded cases where a defendant was still in custody, but we identified three live cases; each case was looked at individually and no evidence was offered as we concluded that there was no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction.

"We are now considering past cases which resulted in a conviction in criminal courts in England and Wales based on evidence provided by Mr Mahmood, and have identified 25 cases. As part of this process, over the coming weeks, CPS Areas will be contacting representatives of the defendants - or defendants themselves as necessary - convicted in these cases in order to provide them with a disclosure pack - details of material which they may consider undermines the conviction in a specific case.

"When making a charging decision, each case and the evidence provided to us is assessed on its own merit and a decision is made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. If, after the conclusion of proceedings, new material comes to light that may cast doubt upon the safety of a conviction, we have a duty to consider disclosure. By providing disclosure packs to the defence, consideration can be given as to whether or not this material might cast doubt upon the safety of any convictions.   

"We are providing this information to defence representatives to allow them to consider whether there is any basis for their client's case to be referred to the Court of Appeal or to the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC). We have also provided the disclosure packs to the Law Society, CCRC and relevant regulatory bodies that we are aware of and who have had cases involving Mr Mahmood.

"The safety of convictions is of paramount importance to the CPS. Therefore if defence representatives have not been contacted by the end of December and provided with a disclosure pack, then we would invite them to contact their local CPS office in order to provide their details and to request a pack. 

"Care should be taken when reporting matters relating to Mr Mahmood to ensure it does not affect the fairness of future proceedings as a police investigation in remains ongoing."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.