Ali Dizaei Vows to Appeal Against Conviction
Former Hounslow Commander found guilty at Southwark Crown Court
Controversial Scotland Yard commander Ali Dizaei, a former resident of Chiswick, has vowed to appeal against his conviction for misconduct and perverting the course of justice.
A familiar face in W4 from his time as Borough Commander in Hounslow from 2005 to 2007, he is expected to serve about three months in prison after the three-year sentence imposed yesterday (Monday February 13th) at Southwark Crown Court.
Dizaei , 49,who is one of the most senior British police officers to be convicted of corruption offences, was found guilty of falsely arresting a web designer in a dispute over money, and then lying in official statements by claiming he had been assaulted and threatened by the man. The sentence is expected to be reduced because he has already spent 15 months in prison already as part of the four-year jail term he received after being convicted of the same offences in February 2010.
Before the retrial he won his job back with the Metropolitan police but was then suspended on full salary of £90,000 . He had previously emerged unscathed from a series of inquiries over the years, including a multimillion pound undercover operation examining claims of corruption, fraud and dishonesty.
A cloud now hands over his 27-year career as a police officer, as he is likely to be dismissed and may lose his pension.
Dizaei showed little reaction while waiting for the verdict, though his head was bowed and his brow furrowed. The jury announced its unanimous verdict after an eleven-hour deliberation. Afterwards his lawyer, Imram Khan, said they would be appealing.
It is the second time Dizaei, who also served as Borough Commander in Hammersmith and Fulham, has been convicted of the offences. Dizaei was first convicted in 2010 but that conviction was quashed by the court of appeal in May 2011 after evidence emerged that Dizaei's accuser, Waad al-Baghdadi, had falsely claimed £27,000 in welfare benefits for his dead father, which raised questions about his reliability as a witness.
After 11 hours of deliberations, the jury in the current trial decided it did not believe the police chief's account and instead believed the evidence of Baghdadi, despite his conviction for fraud.
After the verdict Dizaei's wife vowed to fight on: "We will go back to the court of appeal. I will never give up."
Dizaei was an outspoken critic of the police on race, and a leader of the National Black Police Association (NBPA).
He had been cleared of criminal charges in 2003 and returned to duty despite Scotland Yard suspecting him of serious offences.
In the case at Southwark crown court, the crown alleged that on 18 July 2008, Dizaei had clashed with Baghdadi, who claimed the police commander owed him £600 for a website he had designed.
Dizaei then arrested Baghdadi,calling for police back-up to take his prisoner away. He claimed to have been assaulted and poked in the stomach with the mouthpiece of a shisha pipe. Dizaei filled out official statements and maintained his false account on the witness stand.
Baghdadi spent 24 hours in a cell and six weeks on bail before it was decided he would not face charges. Scotland Yard handed the case over to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which investigated Dizaei. .
The jury at Southwark crown court was unanimous in finding Dizaei guilty of misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice. They had begun considering their verdict last Thursday.
February 13, 2012