A man whose allegations sparked a £2.5m investigation into a supposed Westminster paedophile ring has appeared in court charged with lying to police.
The 50-year-old, known only as Nick, faces 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud.
His claims led to a Metropolitan Police investigation in which officers raided the homes of public figures including senior politicians, members of the armed forces and intelligence services, and a TV presenter.
The probe, called Operation Midland, closed last year after finding no evidence of any wrongdoing.
Nick, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged in July after Northumbria Police passed a file to prosecutors in September 2017.
He is alleged to have made up claims of child sexual abuse and murder committed by prominent figures in politics, the army, security services and television.
He is also accused of fraudulently receiving £22,000 in compensation after claiming he had been abused by the alleged paedophile ring.
Nick appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court for a 13-minute hearing on Saturday morning.
Wearing a navy sweatshirt and beige trousers and sporting a full beard, he spoke only to confirm his name, address, nationality and date of birth.
He was remanded in custody to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on 19 November.