I will clear my name, says Ali Dizaei

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The Independent Online

Former Scotland Yard commander Ali Dizaei said his integrity "was completely intact" as he walked out of prison after his corruption conviction was quashed.

Dizaei, 48, will face a retrial over claims he framed Waad al-Baghdadi after a row in a London street.



He was let out of Leyhill open prison yesterday afternoon after Lord Justice Hughes and two other judges said the Court of Appeal had been "driven to the conclusion" that his conviction "cannot be regarded as safe".



Dizaei, 48, who was serving a four-year jail sentence, praised his wife for helping secure his appeal triumph.



He added: "I will remain determined to clear my name."



Dizaei, who was jailed in February last year after a trial at London's Southwark Crown Court, said he had not given up hope of returning as an officer at Scotland Yard.



"All I ever wanted to do was be a police officer and serve the Metropolitan Police Service," he told reporters.



Dizaei said his 15 months in prison had been "hell" and "like putting a hand in a wasps' nest".



He added: "I was assaulted on a number of occasions.



"Had it not been for my wife (Shy), I would have broken down. I have kept my faith."



Dizaei added that he would "still be in the cells" without Shy's "single-handed" and "relentless" efforts.



He was granted bail after Lord Justice Hughes, sitting with Mr Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Cranston, said: "We are satisfied that it is in the interests of justice that there should be a retrial."



The ruling follows a hearing in March during which allegations were made about the credibility of Mr Baghdadi, the key witness in the case against Dizaei.



A jury found Dizaei guilty of attempting to frame Mr Baghdadi when they fell out over money.



During the trial, jurors heard allegations that the Iranian-born officer threatened, assaulted, falsely arrested and faked evidence against Mr Baghdadi, who built him a vanity website.



But Michael Mansfield QC, for Dizaei, had argued that his conviction was unsafe.



Dizaei was convicted by a jury of misconduct in a public office and doing acts with intent to pervert the course of justice.



Lord Justice Hughes said: "He was at the time a very senior serving police officer.



"The allegation was that in the course of a minor and wholly personal dispute with a civilian, he arrested the man for threatening behaviour when he knew there was no justification for doing so, thus abusing for personal reasons the considerable power given to him for public purposes."



In his challenge Dizaei relied, said the judge, "on material going to the general credit of the other party to the personal dispute".