Shamed police chief Ali Dizaei 'could be freed' today after sensational claim witness used false name in court

Enlarge   Shamed: Ali Dizaei will make a last ditch bid to overturn his conviction for corruption tomorrow

Shamed: Ali Dizaei will make a last-ditch bid to overturn his conviction

Shamed Scotland Yard commander Ali Dizaei could be freed from prison today amid allegations a key prosecution witness at his trial used a false name, his family has claimed.

Dizaei, 48, was sentenced to four years in February for misconduct and perverting the course of justice after being found guilty of assaulting and falsely arresting Iraqi-born businessman Waad al-Baghdadi, 24, in a restaurant after a row over a debt.

But his conviction - which ended a 24-year police career dogged by controversy - has been thrown into doubt after a BBC report alleged that al-Baghdadi is actually Vaed Maleki, and that he was born in Iran in 1983.

Evidence of the new claims will form part of an appeal by Dizaei, due to be heard later today, in which he will argue against his conviction and sentence.

The information is said to have been confirmed by an Iranian relative who has signed a statement saying that a photograph of Mr al-Baghdadi was that of Vaed Maleki.

The relative told the BBC: 'He worked for himself for a while and ultimately in 2002, he left Iran and migrated to England.'

Dizaei’s legal team have also obtained a statement from a photography shop owner in Tehran, Iran's capital city. The shop owner apparently claims Mr Maleki had his picture taken at his store in April 2001 and the photograph is said to look exactly like Waad al-Baghdadi.

If true, the information contradicts the details Mr al-Baghdadi gave to the police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission and evidence he gave under oath that he was born in Iraq in 1985.

Kourosh Dizaei, the youngest of Dizaei’s three sons, said the 'injustice' will be exposed tomorrow. 

Identity claims: Waad al-Baghdadi, who was falsely arrested by Dizaei. The BBC alleges that Mr al-Baghdadi is actually Iranian-born Vaed Maleki

Identity claims: Waad al-Baghdadi, who was falsely arrested by Dizaei. The BBC alleges that Mr al-Baghdadi is actually Iranian-born Vaed Maleki

Writing on his website, he added: 'On December 1, justice will finally prevail and Ali Dizaei will walk among us with his deservedly untarnished name.'

Earlier this year a judge sitting alone rejected Dizaei's application for permission to appeal.

But the former commander instructed solicitors and two QCs - Michael Mansfield and Matthew Ryder - to make a final plea to a panel of judges to overturn his conviction.

If successful, and the evidence of the prosecution witness is discredited, a judge could order a re-trial and Dizaei would be freed on bail.

The details of the new allegations are understood to have only emerged in the past few weeks and were not part of the first appeal bid.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which investigated the Dizaei case, told the Evening Standard Mr al-Baghdadi had produced 'a variety of official documentation' to prove his identity when he was first arrested. These are understood to have included a driving licence and bank records.

A spokesman said: 'The Met established that Mr al-Baghdadi had been granted the right of residence in this country. He also had a variety of official documentation in this name.

'In this case a jury listened to all the evidence, much of which was independent from both parties, and included CCTV, that corroborated Mr Al-Baghdadi’s, and found Ali Dizaei guilty.'

Dizaei’s solicitor was not available for comment.

Efforts by the Standard to trace Mr al-Baghdadi today proved fruitless.

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