Friday, 15 February 2013

Dizaei loses appeal against conviction at second trial

The case of R v Dizaei was considered on this blog on 29th June 2010 and 13th February 2012

In February 2010, Ali Dizaei (who held the rank of Commander in the Metropolitan Police) was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for offences of misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice - see Daily Mail 9th February 2010.    He appealed and the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) ordered a retrial on the basis of new evidence - judgment.  In February 2012, Dizaei was convicted and, this time, sentenced to 3 years imprisonment (less 

Dizaei's appeal was heard in May 2011 and a retrial was ordered on the basis of new evidence.  In February 2012, Dizaei was convicted at the retrial.  Saunders J sentenced him to 3 years imprisonment (with 15 months already served to be allowed for).  The sentencing remarks of Saunders J are available on the Judiciary website.  

Dizaei appealed
against conviction at the second trial but his appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Lord Judge CJ, Wyn Williams and Globe JJ - judgment at Dizaei v R [2013] EWCA Crim 88.

The incident which gave rise to these convictions occurred on 18 July 2008. At that time the appellant was a career police officer who had attained the very senior rank of Commander in the Metropolitan Police. The case against him was that he abused the power and authority of his office to arrest and detain and then make false complaints of threat and assault by Wad Al-Baghdadi (WAB) (otherwise known as Malechi or Meladi) on spurious grounds. WAB, a dishonest man of bad character, was engaged by the appellant in 2008 to use his expertise in computing to create a web-site for him. The incident on 18 July represented the culmination of the dispute which developed between them over the work done and the absence of payment for it.

The successful appeal following the first trial was based on emerging evidence that, contrary to the way in which the case had been presented to the jury, WAB was not a man of good character and in particular, that he was not the honest, decent young business man portrayed by the Crown. Accordingly, given that the jury had approached his credibility under a complete misapprehension about his true character, and therefore started their assessment of the two main protagonists as if they were both men of equally good character, the conviction was quashed and the new trial ordered.

At the second appeal, Dizaei argued a single ground of appeal.  WAB's bad character was in part put before the jury but Saunders J had ruled that there were three additional areas of material relating to his character which were inadmissible under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.100(1).  Dizaei's argument was that the judge's decision in relation to each of these three areas of evidence was flawed, that the evidence should have been adduced and that exclusion of the evidence made his conviction unsafe.

The Court of Appeal disagreed with Saunders J in relation to one of the matters which had been excluded but went on to hold that the excluded evidence did not begin to undermine the powerful body of evidence independent of WAB which served to prove that, .... , the guilty verdict was fully justified.   The conviction was safe.

Dizaei was dismissed from the Police for a second time in 2012 following conviction at the retrial - Telegraph 15th May 2012.

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