London

Ali Dizaei hopes to return to police after appeal

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Media captionFormer police commander Ali Dizaei:"My integrity is completely intact"

Former Metropolitan Police commander Ali Dizaei has said he hopes to return to the force one day after winning an appeal against charges of misconduct and corruption.

Mr Dizaei, 48, was freed after 15 months in jail and now faces a retrial.

He was accused of making threats, assault, false arrest and faking evidence against Waad al-Baghdadi, over a money dispute.

Mr Dizaei said he had left prison "with my integrity completely intact".

He was let out of Leyhill open prison on Monday after Lord Justice Hughes and two other judges said the Court of Appeal had been "driven to the conclusion" that his conviction "cannot be regarded as safe".

'Faith in God'

At a press conference in London on Monday evening, Mr Dizaei praised his wife for helping secure his re-trial and added: "I will remain determined to clear my name."

He said his time in prison, as he served part of the four-year sentence, was like "putting a hand in a wasps' nest".

He said he was assaulted on a number of occasions and it was his faith in God and faith in his innocence that assisted him to go through "what I can best describe as hell".

He said: "I remain determined not to be bullied out of my job. It is my intention to go back to the Metropolitan Police, clear my name, and retire like any other (officer)."

Lord Justice Hughes and two other judges at the Court of Appeal in London made the ruling after fresh evidence cast doubt on Mr al-Baghdadi's credibility as a witness.

The earlier hearing was told that Mr al-Baghdadi was a fraudster who had lied to investigators and at the trial last year.

Police also confirmed that he was arrested on 6 March on suspicion of benefit fraud.

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Media captionSolicitor Stephen Fox: "Mr Dizaei and his family are very pleased the Court of Appeal has quashed the conviction"

Michael Mansfield QC, for Mr Dizaei, also accused Mr al-Baghdadi of lying to obtain residence in the UK.

Lord Justice Hughes said fresh information about benefit claims would obviously have had some impact on the jury's deliberations.

He said the Court of Appeal "simply do not know whether this conviction is soundly based or not".

He concluded: "In those circumstances we are driven to the conclusion that it cannot be regarded as safe."

A CPS spokesperson said: "The court has said that a jury should have the opportunity to decide whether the prosecution evidence is sufficient to prove the case against Mr Dizaei, considering the new material relating to the alleged victim.

"The Crown Prosecution Service accepts the judgement and will prepare for the retrial."

Earlier Mr Dizaei's solicitor Stephen Fox, from Ralli Solicitors, said his client was "relieved" his conviction had been quashed and he could again "call himself an innocent man".

Mr Fox said: "He and his family are very pleased that the Court of Appeal quashed this verdict against him."

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