Ali Dizaei, the Scotland Yard commander jailed for corruption, attempted to cultivate an image in court of a straightforward, honest and respectable officer.
Ali Dizaei in 2006 (left) and 2009 (right)
And yet as these pictures show, he was not only trying to deceive the jury about his wrongful arrest of an innocent businessman, but also his appearance.
Four years ago a photographer captured Dizaei with a greying, thinning crop of hair, and a tuft on the top of his head.
At Southwark Crown Court, however, the 47-year-old Iranian had dyed his hair black and appeared with a noticeably thick and full head of hair.
While he was giving evidence, the jury was to witness an even stranger sight, as Dizaei stripped off his shirt in front of them to prove he had a hairy chest – apparently to discredit the statement of a medical examiner who said he faked injuries to himself to help frame Waad al-Baghdadi.
There was one other piece of courtroom drama.
After his trial in 2003 on the same charges of misconduct and perverting justice, Dizaei wrote in his book, Not One of Us, how the judge had allowed him to sit behind his lawyers in the courtroom, rather than in the dock.
“Anyone sitting in the dock is separated from the public – in many ways they already look like a criminal to the jury,” said Dizaei. “Much to the disgust of the prosecution, I got a better seat in court, and one more small advantage”.
Dizaei and his same barrister, Michael Mansfield, QC, who came out of retirement at the criminal courts for case, tried the same tactic this time at Southwark, claiming that the police officer had trouble hearing the evidence from the dock.
This time, Mr Justice Simon told Dizaei he would have no special privileges, and ordered that he should have the same treatment as any other criminal suspect being tried in the court.
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