Former News of the World undercover journalist Mazher Mahmood, known as the Fake Sheikh, has been charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice following the collapse of the drugs trial of pop star Tulisa Contostavlos in July last year, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
The journalist, who worked for The News Of The World and its successor The Sun on Sunday, has exposed numerous alleged wrongdoings, often by posing as a sheik, targeting royals, sports stars, politicians and celebrities in stings over 30 years.
One of Mahmood's stings on Sven-Göran Eriksson
But he has also been accused of entrapping and provoking his targets, such as X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos whose drugs trial earlier this year was dropped after the judge accused Mahmood of lying.
Mahmood has been suspended from The Sun since the case collapsed in July.
Tulisa's case was thrown out after a 'fake sheik' sting
A statement issued by Kingsley Napley on behalf of Mazher Mahmood said: "I am deeply disappointed that, after a totally unjustified delay, the Crown Prosecution Service have today informed me that they have decided to charge me with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. I deny the offence.
"I will vigorously contest it at court. In the meantime I have nothing further to say."