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Wednesday, 18 April, 2001, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Officer takes 'racist Met' to tribunal
Kensington police station
Ali Dizaei was based at Kensington police station
An Iranian-born policeman tipped to become a chief constable is taking the Metropolitan police to an employment tribunal - claiming racial discrimination.

Superintendent Ali Dizaei was suspended from his 52,000-a-year job in January after allegations of dishonesty, attempting to pervert the course of justice and personal misconduct including sex with prostitutes.

But the 39-year-old claims the Met discriminated against and victimised him because of his race and his work for the National Black Police Association (NBPA) where he was the vice-chairman and legal adviser.

Mr Dizaei's solicitor, Sadiq Khan, said former Met commissioner Sir Paul Condon and a national selection board had recommended him for promotion to the level of chief officer.


There is overwhelming evidence of the unfair treatment of Superintendent Dizaei.

NBPA chairman, Ravi Chand
But a selection board rejected him for interview for the lesser job of chief superintendent.

NBPA chairman Ravi Chand said: "There is overwhelming evidence of the unfair treatment of Superintendent Dizaei.

"Taking the Metropolitan police to tribunal is the only way he can seek justice from a service riddled with senior officers who have become 'the untouchables' when it comes to accountability."

In January, the Met said Mr Dizaei, who was based at Kensington police station, west London, was suspended from duty on a "significant number" of counts of misconduct relating to disciplinary and criminal matters.

He is yet to be charged with any criminal or disciplinary offences.

Supporters of the married father of three expect him to be questioned under caution about the allegations in April.

The investigation, overseen by the Police Complaints Authority, is thought to have cost 1m and involved up to 40 officers, phone taps and covert surveillance.

'Racist witch-hunt'

But senior officers at Scotland Yard have rubbished claims that they are conducting a racist witch-hunt against Mr Dizaei, describing his conduct before suspension as "absolutely horrendous".

The Met has been under fire for its record on race since the Stephen Lawrence inquiry branded it "institutionally racist".

Mr Dizaei, who has a PhD in law, hit the headlines in 1999 when he accused the police service of "ethnic cleansing" of black and Asian candidates and said testing procedures used to pick senior ranks were "culturally biased".

He also criticised Home Secretary Jack Straw for reinstating a Pc who called a teenager a "black bastard" during a struggle to arrest him.

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See also:

09 Aug 99 | UK Politics
Drive to boost black police numbers
25 Mar 99 | Stephen Lawrence
The Lawrence inquiry
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