Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ali Dizaei convicted

The conviction of high ranking police officer Ali Dizaei on corruption charges has become an opportunity for certain elements within the police to smear the National Black Police Association and to claim that this case vindicates operation Helios, in which the force bent Heaven and Earth in order to secure a conviction, any conviction, against Mr Dizaei.

It does no such thing. Dizaei was accused of spying for Iran, but there was no evidence. He was accused of using prostitutes, but there was no evidence. He was accused of fiddling his fuel mileage, but there was no evidence nor any reason to think that he had. Just as there was no reason to believe he was an illegal drug user.

The resources the force poured into Operation Helios were phenomenal.

They bugged his phones, his family's phones, his friends phones. They followed him, taped him, watched him like a hawk with a team of officers assigned to his case round the clock. They even followed him to the US when he went to speak at a convention there. They intimidated his friends, lovers, even owners of restaurants he ate in. They tried a clumsy attempt at a sting operation. Even MI5 were brought in on the act.

When all of these efforts failed to turn up one scrap of evidence worth mentioning they still tried to convict him.

Whatever the merits of the current case it does not prove he was "always a wrong 'un" because if he did abuse his powers on this occasion it hardly shows he was working for a foreign power or forging his expenses documents like a cross between James Bond and Elliot Morley.

We have had coppers lining up to tell the media that they always knew he was a bent copper. Just as they used to say they always knew Winston Silcott really did kill that police officer even after the case was over-turned or that Jean Charles de Menezes was a rotten apple even if he didn't happen to be a terrorist.

The Met bears grudges long and hard. There will be many police officers celebrating this week that Dizaei, who dared to criticise the force, has been convicted. Not least among them will be the racists, the fit up merchants and the idiots who swallow canteen gossip years after the courts have shown the charges to be flimsy bullshit.

Dizaei may well have been guilty on this occasion, and having been victimised before should be no immunity from the law into the future, but this case is the culmination of years of attempts to destroy this man. The charges that finally felled him though were not around spying for Iran or leading the life of a mafia don, but revolved around whether he was poked in the stomach with a hookah pipe.

1 comment:

mish said...

Another factor is that the behaviour he is accused of - "falsely arresting a web designer in a dispute over money and then lying in official statements when he claimed he had been assaulted and threatened by the man" - is not some isolated case that deserves special attention. It is more like standard practice in some areas of policing.

The activist community is full of stories of people being arrested on the whim of some officer. And of people being beaten by the police and then charged with assault of a police officer. I must admit I'm not expecting this case to be the first of a flood of convictions for wrongful arrest and lying about being assaulted.

The IPCC are not really to be congratulated for getting rid of an officer who was a thorn in the side of the police establishment. If he was in with the mainstream then the police would have closed ranks as usual and the case would never have gone anywhere.