Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Britain's top cop reprimanded by judge

Iranian crooked cop, Ali Dizaei

A judge has attacked Britain’s most senior policeman over’s his force’s treatment of the innocent man framed by disgraced Met commander Ali Dizaei, saying he had ‘thrown him to the wolves’.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was blasted over his force’s reluctance to pay damages to web designer Waad al-Baghdadi, whose evidence helped bring down the lying police chief.

In an extraordinary broadside, His Honour Judge Freeland QC attacked Sir Bernard’s claim that the Met was not responsible for Dizaei’s conduct.

He added that Mr al-Baghdadi had been to ‘hell and back’ by twice giving evidence against Dizaei, who arrested him unlawfully while serving in the force.

Details of Judge Freeland’s attack on the Yard boss can be revealed after the Mail won a battle lasting several months to obtain transcripts of the court showdown between lawyers representing Mr al-Baghdadi and Sir Bernard.

The Met had previously declined to comment when asked if it had been rebuked by the judge during a hearing at the Central London County Court – at which no journalists were present.

This meant the Mail had to make a special application to get transcripts of what was said.

Dizaei, 52, was first convicted of framing young businessman Mr al-Baghdadi in a street row over money in 2010.

He was jailed for four years, but his convictions for misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice were quashed by the Court of Appeal a year later.

The Iranian-born commander - dubbed a ‘Criminal in Uniform’ by the head of the police watchdog - was found guilty for a second time at a retrial in February 2012 and received a three-year prison sentence.

A panel of judges headed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, has since thrown out another appeal bid by Dizaei, a former president of the National Black Police Association who repeatedly played the race card to bully cowardly Yard bosses into tolerating his conduct.

Now it can be revealed that in the aftermath of Dizaei’s second conviction, Mr al-Baghdadi, 30, launched a damages claim against the Met over his ordeal.

At the Central London County Court barrister Rajeev Shetty, representing the Met, said that the force was not responsible for Dizaei’s actions and suggested that Mr al-Baghdadi should sue the former officer for damages instead.

But Judge Freeland said Mr al-Baghdadi ‘has at least in part been put through hell and back again because he has given evidence in support of a prosecution where his name has been pilloried in cross examination’.

‘He has achieved partial vindication by virtue of the jury convicting Dizaei twice,’ he added. ‘But here he is asserting his civil rights, only to be thrown to the wolves by the Commissioner, I assume on cogent instructions at the highest level.’

The judge paid tribute to Mr al-Baghdadi’s stand against Dizaei, whom he described as being ‘a blatant and downright liar’.

‘Without Mr al-Baghdadi’s evidence there would have been no prospect whatsoever of convicting Dizaei,’ he added.

Clearly irritated by the Met’s stance, the judge ruled: ‘I hold that the defendant (the Met) must inexorably and inevitably and beyond any reasonable argument be responsible for his actions, which are manifestly so closely connected with his office as a police commander employed by the Metropolitan Police Service.’

It is understood Mr al-Baghdadi received a ‘substantial five figure sum’ from the Met.

Scotland Yard declined to comment on how much compensation it had agreed to pay Mr al-Baghdadi.

‘His Honour Judge Freeland found that the Commissioner was vicariously liable for the torts committed by former Commander Dizaei. An apology did not form part of the settlement,’ said a spokesman.

Asked whether the judge had criticised the Met, the spokesman said: ‘Various arguments were put forward by both parties for the judge to consider. The judge found in favour of the claimant.’

Last Autumn Scotland Yard sparked fury after it paid off Dizaei to escape an embarrassing public legal battle.

The ex-Met officer had launched a claim against his former employer for racial and religious discrimination and hoped to win a payout of more than £1million.

In return for Dizaei dropping his legal claim, the Met and its oversight body the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac) made a contribution towards Dizaei’s legal costs – thought to be worth more than £50,000 – but did not pay him any compensation.

In addition, Mopac said it was seeking to seize a large portion of Dizaei’s police pension.

A Mopac spokesman said last night: ‘We can confirm that a decision to forfeit a portion of Mr Dizaei’s pension has been approved. This decision is now subject to a judicial review in the Crown Court.’

Original report here



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