Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Police commander Ali Dizaei threat claim is 'nonsense'

Ali Dizaei
Commander Dizaei allegedly faked injuries on himself

Metropolitan Police Commander Ali Dizaei has said claims he challenged a man to fight were "nonsense".

Southwark Crown Court has heard a row broke out in July 2008 when Waad Al-Baghdadi demanded £600 for work on Mr Dizaei's personal website.

Mr Dizaei told the court he was firm with the "threatening" designer but called claims of a challenge "absurd".

Mr Dizaei denies assault, false arrest, misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice.

The court has heard that the dispute between the men came to a head when Mr Al-Baghdadi demanded payment from Britain's most senior Asian officer for work on

Mr Al-Baghdadi called 999 when Mr Dizaei, former president of the National Black Police Association, allegedly challenged him to a fight in the street outside a restaurant in Kensington, west London.

It would be absurd to me to point to the crowd and invite Mr al-Baghdadi there for a fist fight
Ali Dizaei

At that point Mr Al-Baghdadi was handcuffed and arrested by Mr Dizaei.

Mr Dizaei told the court: "I was firm and I said to him, 'You are frightening my wife, you are causing a disturbance - just go away.'

"He used a strange Farsi quote which says, 'I will take the money out of your throat.'

"It might sound bizarre when translated into English, but it is a very threatening comment to make to any person."

Responding to claims he challenged Mr Al-Baghdadi to a fight Mr Dizaei said: "It would be absurd to me to point to the crowd and invite Mr Al-Baghdadi there for a fist fight.

"It is just complete and utter nonsense."

'Hand gesture'

The court has heard Mr Dizaei told lies and may have faked injuries on himself in an attempt to have the web designer prosecuted.

When asked by Barrister Michael Mansfield QC if this were true, Mr Dizaei replied: "Absolutely not".

Mr Dizaei said he asked Mr Al-Baghdadi to leave the Yas restaurant at the owner's request.

The court heard how Mr Al-Baghdadi made an obscene hand gesture towards Mr Dizaei while walking down the road as he left.

Mr Dizaei said he feared the man had called friends who may attack the restaurant and decided to arrest him under the Public Order Act.

The trial continues.

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