Monday 8 February 2010

Ali Desai

Finally - the most bent copper in the UK is convicted.

Finally the Race Card hasnt worked, but only because his accuser was also an ethnic.

One law for them, one law for us.

A top Scotland Yard officer was found guilty today of threatening and falsely arresting a man in a petty row over money.

Commander Ali Dizaei, 47, was convicted of misconduct and perverting the course of justice at London's Southwark Crown Court.

A jury found he attacked Iraqi Waad al-Baghdadi before arresting and attempting to frame him.

The corruption convictions will almost certainly spell the end of the Iranian officer's controversial 24-year career.

Dizaei, who has been suspended on full pay since September 2008, is now likely to be sacked from the Metropolitan Police for gross misconduct.

He emerged unscathed from a series of earlier inquiries, including a multimillion-pound undercover operation examining claims of corruption, fraud and dishonesty.

But an attempt to frame a young businessman who pestered him for payment over a website exposed him as a bully and a liar who abused his position.

The jury heard the two men met by chance in the Persian Yas restaurant, run by Dizaei's friend Sohrab Eshragi, in Hammersmith Road, west London, on July 18 2008.

Mr al-Baghdadi, 24, approached Dizaei and asked for £600 he was owed for building a website showcasing his career, press interviews and speeches.

This angered Dizaei, who had just eaten a meal with his wife after attending a ceremony at New Scotland Yard for new recruits.

The officer confronted the younger man in a nearby sidestreet where a scuffle took place and Mr al-Baghdadi was roughly arrested and handcuffed.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said Dizaei told Mr al-Baghdadi he would "f*** up your life" and had "10 witnesses" who would back him up.

In one of two 999 calls Dizaei asked an operator for "urgent assistance" before starting to arrest Mr al-Baghdadi.

When officers arrived, Dizaei handed them the metal mouthpiece of a shisha pipe, held on Mr al-Baghdadi's key ring, and claimed he had been stabbed with it.

But a doctor at Hammersmith police station concluded that two red marks on the officer's torso were probably self-inflicted and did not match the pipe.

Dizaei told colleagues he had been attacked, leaving Mr al-Baghdadi in custody for 24 hours and ultimately facing prosecution.

When Mr al-Baghdadi was told he would not face any charge, he complained about his treatment and Dizaei's web of deceit slowly unravelled.

Mr Wright said the officer was guilty of a "wholesale abuse of power" motivated by self-interest and pride.

He said Dizaei tried to get the case dropped when he realised inconsistencies in his account had been uncovered by detectives.

Giving evidence, Mr al-Baghdadi compared Dizaei to bloodthirsty movie gangster Tony Montana, a character played by Al Pacino in the 1983 film Scarface.

He said many people were scared of the Metropolitan Police officer because of his status in the Iranian community.

The jury also heard that Dizaei rarely paid for his meals and left his unmarked car on a double yellow line while at the restaurant.

In his defence, Dizaei said he feared he was being targeted by his own colleagues because of his role as president of the National Black Police Association.

The senior officer represented Tarique Ghaffur as he threatened to sue former commissioner Sir Ian Blair for discrimination and bullying.

Dizaei said he suspected he was being followed, that his phone was tapped and that he might be attacked.

But the jury rejected his claim that the way complaints against him were handled could lead to a "miscarriage of justice" and convicted him of both counts.

Dizaei will be sentenced at 3pm.

He stared straight ahead and showed no emotion as the jury of six men and six women returned its verdict in under three hours.

He hugged his wife Shy as he left the dock and was bailed to the confines of the court.

His family left the courtroom in tears.

Mr Justice Simon thanked the jury for their time and excused them from further jury service for 10 years.

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