BBC Home > BBC News > England

Police commander Ali Dizaei 'like Al Pacino's Scarface'

13 January 10 18:58 GMT

A police commander on trial for attacking a web designer in London has been compared to a movie gangster.

Southwark Crown Court has heard Ali Dizaei, 47, fell out with Waad Al-Baghdadi after he demanded £600 for work on Mr Dizaei's personal website.

Mr Al-Baghdadi, 24, called him an "Iranian gangster" and likened him to Tony Montana, from the film Scarface.

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

The court heard that the dispute came to a head in July 2008 when Mr Al-Baghdadi demanded payment from Britain's most senior Asian officer for work on his personal website, alidizaei.com.

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

At that point Mr Al-Baghdadi was handcuffed and arrested by Mr Dizaei, a Metropolitan Police officer.

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

Asked by defence counsel Michael Mansfield QC why he did not leave the scene, Mr Al-Baghdadi said: "I didn't want to go - everyone there is scared. This man is an Iranian gangster.

"People are scared of him, they don't want to give evidence against him."

'The biggest man'

Under further cross-examination, Mr Al-Baghdadi likened Commander Dizaei to Tony Montana, the ruthless gangster played by Al Pacino in the 1983 film Scarface.

Imitating Commander Dizaei, he said: "No-one can talk to me, I am the biggest man, I am Tony Montana."

But Mr Mansfield suggested Mr Al-Baghdadi had "lied" to police and "embellished" aspects of his account.

Mr Mansfield said: "This whole case - from beginning to end - is about you and your reputation and your face.

"You're not going to be put down by anyone."

Mr Mansfield also rebutted a claim by Mr Al-Baghdadi that Commander Dizaei was drunk when the pair met.

He said: "Are you seriously suggesting he was drunk?

"I suggest very clearly he is not someone who imbibes quantities of alcohol. Certainly not when on call."

The trial continues.

Related BBC sites

*