Senior police officer facing corruption trial

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The Independent Online

A senior Scotland Yard police officer will go on trial today accused of corruption over a scuffle in a restaurant.

Ali Dizaei, 47, a Metropolitan Police commander, is accused of misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice.

His trial at Southwark Crown Court, in central London, is expected to last three weeks. He denies the offences.

The prosecution followed an investigation by officials from the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The charges are linked to an incident outside the Persian Yas restaurant in Kensington, west London, on July 18, 2008.

Dizaei, who was wearing his uniform, arrested businessman Waad Al-Baghdadi after a row in which he claimed he was poked with the mouthpiece of a hookah water pipe.

The first charge alleges Dizaei is responsible for misconduct in a public office by threatening Mr Al-Baghdadi and by "purporting to arrest and detain" him knowing he did not have reasonable grounds.

The second charge alleges Dizaei perverted the course of justice by falsely claiming in written statements that he "had been a victim of an unprovoked assault by Mr Al-Baghdadi".

The senior officer, a former president of the national Black Police Association, is supported by the Metropolitan Black Police Association.