Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Middle-Eastern behavior from British Muslim cop

A senior Scotland Yard officer 'bullied and threatened' an innocent man in a row over money before falsely accusing him of assault, a court heard yesterday. In a 'wholesale abuse of power', Metropolitan Police Commander Ali Dizaei, 47, chased web designer Waad Al-Baghdadi down the street in his car after confronting him in a restaurant, it was alleged. The officer is alleged to have threatened to ruin his life.

Mr Al-Baghdadi then spent nearly 24 hours in police custody after Dizaei lied in an official statement claiming that the civilian had threatened to assault him, Southwark Crown Court heard. A police doctor concluded that damage allegedly suffered by the £90,000-a-year officer during the altercation was 'consistent with self-inflicted injuries', jurors were told. Dizaei, a former president of the National Black Police Association, denies perverting the course of justice and misconduct in public office.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said: 'These are allegations of the wholesale abuse of power by a senior police officer for entirely personal motives. 'It involves the bullying of a fellow citizen, intimidating and threatening him, abusing the power invested in him by virtue of his office and rank.'

The allegations centre on a confrontation in July 2008 at the Yas restaurant in Kensington, West London. At the time, Dizaei was one of the most senior figures in the Metropolitan Police - in charge of ten London boroughs. He had commissioned Mr Al-Baghdadi - an Iraqi - to build him a personal website for between £500 and £600. But when the IT expert asked for payment, his calls and emails were ignored, the court heard. Mr Al-Baghdadi eventually took the site off line, prompting the restaurant confrontation.

The prosecutor said Mr Al-Baghdadi asked Dizaei, who was in uniform, for the money he was owed to pay for the work and purchase of the domain name Mr Wright said Dizaei 'threw his weight around', telling the Iraqi: 'You have got five minutes to leave the restaurant or I will show you.' He told Mr Al-Baghdadi: 'Let's go to the next road, I will show you.' The businessman allegedly replied: 'I am talking to you. I did work for you, and you say to me, "Let's go around the corner to fight". 'You are a police commander. If you are police commander of all this world you still have no class.'

Mr Al-Baghdadi left the restaurant and dialled 999 to complain. At this point, Dizaei appeared carrying a pair of handcuffs, interdorupted the call to ask for back-up, and arrested him. Dizaei allegedly told Mr Al-Baghdadi: 'I will f*** your life. Do you think I don't know what you do in London? I will find out every single detail about your life.'

Mr Al-Baghdadi replied: 'I have not done anything.' Mr Wright said Dizaei told him: 'I have ten witnesses, I will show you what I can do.' The jury was played part of the eight-minute 999 call made by Mr Al-Baghdadi at about 11.30pm. Dizaei could then be heard taking the phone and asking for support. He said: 'This man is threatening, I need to get him arrested.' Three minutes later, Dizaei made a second 999 call in which he asked for 'urgent assistance'.

Mr Wright said that in the background Mr Al-Baghdadi could be heard complaining in Persian that his arm or hand might break. When officers arrived, Dizaei handed them the metal mouthpiece of a shisha pipe, held on Mr Al-Baghdadi's key ring, and said he had been 'stabbed' or 'poked' in the stomach. Mr Al-Baghdadi was taken to Hammersmith Police Station where Dizaei told a custody officer he had been threatened and assaulted. The Commander was said to be outraged when no charges were brought against Mr Al-Baghdadi.

He was eventually charged with gross misconduct and perverting the course of justice. The trial is expected to last up to four weeks.

Original report here

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