PCC ruling due next week on Posh 'kidnap' trial

By Dominic Ponsford

A ruling is expected next week from the Press Complaints Commission over the News of the World’s role in the aborted Victoria Beckham kidnap trial.

Last month, the trial of five Eastern European men charged with plotting to kidnap Beckham and her children collapsed.

The men had been arrested following a sting orchestrated by investigations editor Mazher Mahmood.

The paper has attracted controversy over a payment of £10,000 to informant Florim Gashi and since then the PCC has been carrying out its own investigation into the matter.

A spokesman said: “In complaints involving payments to witnesses and criminals there can be no injured party – in those cases, the PCC initiates its own investigation.”

The commission was expected to discuss the matter at its monthly meeting on Wednesday and to release a decision next week.

Two of the men implicated in the Beckham kidnap case have been jailed over a separate matter.

Joseph Rivas, 25, and Luzum Balliu, 31, were sentenced to three and two years respectively after pleading guilty to stealing goods from auction house Sotheby’s.

Mahmood posed as a criminal dealer in stolen goods and the two men offered him a jewelled turban, antique books and a £15,000 painting stolen from the department store’s strong room.

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