Scotland Yard forced to reinstate Dizaei

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The Independent Online

A Scotland Yard chief facing retrial for corruption was suspended on full pay tonight - just hours after it emerged he had been reinstated to the force.

Commander Ali Dizaei, who walked free from jail in May after his conviction was quashed, will receive his salary, understood to be around £90,000, before standing trial again early next year.

Confirmation of his suspension by the Metropolitan Police Authority came after Mr Dizaei expressed his "delight" at a police appeal panel dismissing his sacking.

Dizaei is understood to be considering further legal challenges against the suspension.

Before the MPA's announcement, the 49-year-old said: "I am delighted to be reinstated. I have always wanted to be a Met Police officer and now vow to clear my name."

The MPA confirmed in a statement that Dizaei had been suspended.

"The Police Appeals Tribunal (PAT) upheld his appeal against dismissal," it said.

"On receipt of their decision on 29 September, the Metropolitan Police Authority's Professional Standards Cases Sub-Committee (PSCSC) immediately convened to consider the current status of outstanding matters concerning Commander Dizaei.

"After careful deliberation the PSCSC unanimously decided to suspend him. Suspension is not a disciplinary sanction and it is emphasised that suspension should not be taken as a presumption of guilt."

Dizaei is due to stand trial again early next year accused of misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice.

He launched a bid to get his job back after he was let out of Leyhill open prison when 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".

PSB Law, which represents Dizaei, said in a statement: "Commander Dizaei has always maintained that his previous dismissal from the Metropolitan police force pending his criminal appeal was in haste and unfair.

"That appeal was heard in May of this year and resulted in the quashing of Commander Dizaei's criminal convictions.

"Commander Dizaei has ongoing proceedings in the Employment Tribunal against the Metropolitan Police Authority and a number of senior individuals in that organisation relating to the way in which Commander Dizaei has been treated over a substantial period of time."

The officer - who was convicted by a jury of misconduct in a public office and doing acts with intent to pervert the course of justice - said his 15 months in prison had been "hell" and "like putting a hand in a wasps' nest".

His forthcoming retrial is linked to an incident outside the Persian Yas restaurant in Kensington, west London, on July 18 2008.

Iranian-born Dizaei, who was wearing his uniform on the date in question, is accused of arresting a man after a row despite knowing he did not have reasonable grounds to do so.

He is also alleged to have perverted the course of justice by falsely claiming in written statements that he was a victim of an unprovoked assault by the man.

The senior officer, a former president of the National Black Police Association, pleaded not guilty to the charges at a court hearing in June.