Tulisa Contostavlos appears in court again over drugs charges: Former X Factor judge attends case management hearing over alleged supply of cocaine

The former X Factor judge makes another appearance in court

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The Independent Online

Tulisa Contostavlos appeared at Southwark Crown Court this morning for a plea and case management hearing, after she was charged with allegedly helping to supply an undercover reporter with 13.9 grams of cocaine.

She firmly denies the allegations, which accuse her of brokering a Class A drug deal to The Sun on Sunday journalist Mazher 'fake sheikh' Mahmood between 20 May and 24 May. The alleged transaction also involved rapper Mike GLC, real name Michael Coomes, who also appeared in court today and denies the allegations.

Coomes and Contostavlos were bailed to return to Southwark Crown Court on 25 June for another pre-trial hearing. Both defendants were called to the dock, although the hearing only lasted a few minutes. Coombs spoke only to confirm his name. The trial starts on 14 July.

The former X Factor judge was arrested on 4 June 2013, after The Sun on Sunday reported that she was involved in the deal which allegedly took place in London's Dorchester Hotel last year.

In December, the star's lawyer, Ben Rose, defended his client arguing that she had been used "fodder by greedy newspapers". He maintains that the publication reportedly flew the star and friends to Las Vegas and offered her a £3million film contract before the deal was apparently reached.

"Tulisa has been charged with a serious criminal offence to which she will plead not guilty," he said.

"As has been widely reported, this entire case has been manufactured by The Sunday Sun and Mazher Mahmood, sometimes known as the fake sheikh. They spent a large amount of their readers' money in flying Tulisa and a number of her friends first class to Las Vegas. There, Mahmood posed as a film producer offering her a £3 million film contract.

"This case is not simply about drug supply. It is about the limits which we set on the conduct of journalists. The media have rightly been criticised in recent years for the gross invasion into the private life of others. Tulisa is the latest in a long line of people who have been treated as fodder by greedy newspapers. This was a deliberate attempt to target a young woman who is all the more vulnerable because of her celebrity status.

"The law clearly forbids such conduct on the part of the police. It is ironic that the police should rely on it when it is the work of a journalist.

"In due course Tulisa will give a full answer to these allegations in court."

The Sun has maintained that it followed correct ethical procedures in obtaining the story.

" The Sun's investigation into Tulisa Contostavlos is entirely justified in the public interest. We have handed our dossier of evidence to the police and there is a live investigation ongoing.

"We observed the PCC code throughout the investigation and only used subterfuge because there was no other means of securing proof."