Shamed police chief appeals over conviction

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A Scotland Yard commander is to appeal against his conviction for corruption and his four-year sentence.

Ali Dizaei, 47, was jailed at Southwark Crown Court last week after being found guilty of abusing his powers.

A statement issued by his Manchester-based solicitors, Ralli, said Dizaei will take further legal action.

It read: "Ralli can today confirm that Ali Dizaei is to launch appeals against both conviction and sentence."

A spokeswoman for Ralli was unable to say on what grounds the appeal, co-ordinated by senior partner Stephen Fox, would be based.

Dizaei was beginning his second week at Wandsworth Prison today after being found guilty of abusing his powers.

The senior officer, who was responsible for 10 west London boroughs, was brought to justice over a petty row involving an Iraqi web designer.

The court heard Dizaei threatened, assaulted, falsely arrested and attempted to frame the younger man who stood up to his bullying.

Dizaei remains a Metropolitan Police officer as bureaucratic proceedings that could end his career in uniform take place behind the scenes.

The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), which is responsible for senior officer discipline, said it would move "swiftly but fairly" last week.

Members of the MPA's professional standards cases sub-committee (PSCSC) will be responsible for deciding what penalty Dizaei must face.

They also have the power to seize some or all of his substantial public sector pension.

The formal process to discipline Dizaei was kick-started by a dossier of material passed to the MPA by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The case can be fast-tracked if MPA members believe it is in the public interest to oust Dizaei without delay but the secretive process could still take more than a month.

After the guilty verdicts, Dizaei's barrister, Michael Mansfield QC, admitted his career was "at an end".

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said his behaviour was "disgraceful" and IPCC boss Nick Hardwick branded him a "criminal in uniform".

Anti-corruption officers are reviewing dozens of cases supervised by Dizaei for possible corruption.

Speaking at City Hall earlier today, Reshard Auladin, who chairs the MPA committee that will decide Dizaei's fate, said corrupt officers must be tackled early.

He said managers must not be influenced by the "race, religion or background" of any officer from the lowest to the highest ranks.

Mr Auladin said: "If we do that we save a lot of aggro later on in the process. The lesson we have learned is we should be proud, as an Authority, that we have taken corruption seriously.

"The fact there has been a conviction in this particular case shows we have taken it seriously and Londoners need to feel reassured that to their benefit we are scrutinising the Met properly."

Mr Auladin, an Enfield magistrate, was speaking at a meeting to scrutinise his proposed appointment as deputy chair of the MPA.