Former Local Police Chief Back in Court

Ex-Borough Commander Ali Dizaei faces corruption charges

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Controversial police chief Ali Dizaei is in the news again as he faces a new trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Mr. Dizaei, 49, who was Borough Commander in both Hammersmith and Fulham and Hounslow, denies charges of misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice.

The prosecution follows an investigation by officials from the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The two accusations are linked to an incident outside the Persian Yas restaurant in Hammersmith Road, in July 2008.

The court has been told that Iranian-born Dizaei, who was wearing his uniform on the date in question, "bullied and intimidated" Waad Al-Baghdadi after a row in which he claimed he was poked with the mouthpiece of a hookah water pipe.

The first charge alleges Dizaei is responsible for misconduct in a public office by threatening Mr Al-Baghdadi and by "purporting to arrest and detain" him knowing he did not have reasonable grounds.

The second charge alleges father-of-three Dizaei "did a series of acts which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice" by falsely alleging in oral and in written statements that he had been the victim of an unprovoked physical assault.

This week, Mr Al-Baghdad, an Iraqui web designer, told the court that the row was over a £600 payment he was promised for designing a personal website for Dizaei. He said the senior policeman, who at the time was earning £90,000 a year tried to negotiate down the price before finally promising two cheques - which never materialised.

The dispute came to a head at the Yas restaurant, where Dizaei made an emergency call to say he had made an arrest and needed urgent assistance. When police arrived, he said he had been poked in the chest by a shisha pipe, but prosecutors said this was disputed by the medical examiner's conclusion was that this area of inflammation were more likely to be consistent with self-inflicted injury.

The trial is expected to for six weeks. Jurors have been told that Dizaei has previously been tried for the same offence, but Mr Justice Saunders told them to ignore any reports they may see about Dizaei having previously been on trial.

Dizaei, a former president of the National Black Police Association, was reinstated in his job last October, following a decision by a senior police standards committee. But he was then suspended pending trial on corruption allegations.

January 17, 2012