Met Commander Jailed

http://news.bbc.co.uk
Monday 8 February 2010

Metropolitan Police Commander Ali Dizaei has been sentenced to four years for assaulting and falsely arresting a man in a dispute over £600.

Southwark Crown Court was told Waad Al-Baghdadi was arrested by Dizaei in a row over work on the officer's website.

Dizaei, 47, was convicted of both misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said he was guilty of a "wholesale abuse of power" motivated by self-interest and pride.

Dizaei was ordered to spend two years in prison and two years on licence.

Mr Justice Simon said the sentence included a deterrent element "to send a clear message that police officers of whatever rank are not above the law".

The judge told Dizaei: "You knew how the system worked and you thought you would never be discovered.

"You crossed that line and now stand convicted of these offences."

Commenting after the verdict, Mr Al-Baghdadi said: "I would like to thank all those who listened to me after I made my complaint, in particular the jury who have delivered justice and found Ali Dizaei guilty."

Speaking after the trial, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said: "It is extremely disappointing and concerning that this very senior officer has been found guilty of abusing his position and power.

"He has breached that trust and damaged not only his own reputation but that of the entire police service."

Speaking outside court, Gaon Hart, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Mr Dizaei's corruption, which would have been deplorable in any police officer, was all the more so given his position as a highly-ranked police commander.

"The public should have confidence that we will pursue anyone, regardless of their position, where there is evidence that they have committed serious offences of corruption."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said "criminals in uniform like Dizaei" were the greatest threat to the reputation of the police.

The dispute between the men came to a head when Mr Al-Baghdadi, 24, demanded payment from Britain's most senior Asian officer for work on his personal website, alidizaei.com.

UPDATE
Court of Appeal overturns conviction and orders re-trial HERE