Page last updated at 19:32 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Top police officer 'bullied' man over website pay row

Ali Dizaei
Commander Ali Dizaei allegedly bullied the web designer

A Metropolitan Police officer assaulted and falsely arrested a man who asked to be paid for working on his personal website, a court has heard.

Commander Ali Dizaei, 47, bullied web designer Waad Al-Baghdadi when he asked for £600 for work on, Southwark crown Court heard.

A forensic examiner said injuries to Mr Dizaei's chest after the clash were "likely to be self-inflicted".

He denies misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice.

The charges relate to a confrontation that took place at the Persian Yas restaurant in Kensington.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said: "These are allegations of the wholesale abuse of power by a senior police officer for entirely personal and oblique motives.

"It involves the bullying of a fellow citizen, it involves intimidating and threatening him.

"That he assaulted and detained and he falsely accused a fellow citizen of criminal conduct".

'Urgent assistance'

The court heard Mr Dizaei, who was in police uniform, challenged the web designer to a fight to which Mr Al-Baghdadi said, "If you are police commander of all this world you still have no class".

Mr Al-Baghdadi left the restaurant and dialled 999 to complain but the officer appeared with his handcuffs, interrupted the call and arrested him.

The jury heard a part of the call in which Mr Al-Baghdadi can be heard narrating the incident and Mr Dizaei can be heard taking the phone and saying: "This man is threatening, I need to get him arrested."

Three minutes later the officer made a 999 call asking for "urgent assistance".

Police report

The prosecutor said Mr Al-Baghdadi can be heard complaining in Persian that his arm or hand may break.

The court heard the officer wrote a police evidence statement and told colleagues that Mr Al-Baghdadi confronted him as he sat in a car with his wife.

Mr Dizaei wrote: "I feared he would get very violent".

He added he felt "a sharp object in my stomach" which "looked like a knife".

After the incident red marks on Mr Dizaei's chest and abdomen were examined by Dr Maureen Heath at a police station.

Mr Wright said: "In the judgment of Dr Heath, the injuries that were noted were more likely to be consistent with self-inflicted injuries as opposed to injuries sustained during an alleged assault."

The prosecutor added that Mr Dizaei claimed to have received threatening voicemails and text messages from Mr Al-Baghdadi before the incident, but had "accidentally" deleted them.

Mr Dizaei, a former president of the National Black Police Association, was prosecuted following an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The case continues.

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