Appeal bid by former police chief adjourned

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The Independent Online

The latest appeal bid by a former Scotland Yard commander jailed for corruption will be heard next year after his case was adjourned today for investigations into new material he hopes will prove his innocence,

Three judges in the Court of Appeal in London granted Ali Dizaei's barrister, Michael Mansfield QC, an adjournment of his renewed application for permission to appeal, which was listed to be heard today.

Lord Justice Toulson, sitting in London with Mr Justice Davis and Mrs Justice Dobbs, said: "We are granting an application for an adjournment because it does seem to us that the fresh matters raised are likely to require proper investigation."

Lawyers for Dizaei, 47, who is serving a four-year sentence, believe there is fresh evidence showing the case against him was fundamentally flawed.

It focuses on the main prosecution witness, Waad al-Baghdadi, who they allege used a false name and nationality when he appeared in court.

Dizaei was jailed in February after a jury found him guilty of attempting to frame Mr al-Baghdadi when they fell out over money.

The court heard the Iranian-born officer threatened, assaulted, falsely arrested and faked evidence against the younger man, who built him a vanity website.

The two men clashed in the street after being caught on CCTV arguing at a Persian restaurant, Yas, in west London.

During today's proceedings Dizaei's application for leave to appeal was adjourned to a date to be fixed after January 21 next year.

If a panel of appeal judges grant him leave they will go on immediately to hear full argument on his conviction challenge.

Today's proceedings followed a decision by a senior judge sitting alone that he had no grounds for an appeal.

The three judges heard that inquiries into matters forming the basis of a new ground of appeal were being made by Dizaei's team and by the prosecution.