A retired Scotland Yard officer arrested by officers investigating inappropriate payments from journalists has been released on bail pending further inquiries.

The 57-year-old – who served on the force’s command that defends Britain against terror – was held on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, relating to the phone-hacking scandal.

Officers from Operation Elveden swooped on his Surrey home during a dawn raid before taking him into custody and conducting a search at the property.

The suspect, who became the 27th person arrested under Elveden after information was provided to police by News Corporation’s management standards committee, was released and bailed to a date in August, Scotland Yard said.

He worked as part of the force’s Specialist Operations command, which has a host of security responsibilities from providing armed protection services for ministers and the Royal Family to counter-terrorism intelligence gathering.

The inquiry into allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials runs alongside the force’s Operation Weeting investigation into mobile phone interceptions.

The arrest comes a fortnight after The Sun’s royal editor, Duncan Larcombe, was arrested along with a 42-year-old former member of the armed forces and a 38-year-old woman as part of the same inquiry.


Discredited Top Cop Ali Dizaei

Controversial Scotland Yard police chief Ali Dizaei has lost his High Court bid to have a misconduct hearing postponed.

The 49-year-old commander, who has twice been jailed for corruption, is due to face an internal disciplinary tribunal in London on Thursday.

In February 2010 he was jailed for four years but the conviction was quashed a year later by the Court of Appeal.

At a retrial this February he received a three-year prisonsentence – reduced by the time he has already spent behind bars.

He has since been released with an electronic tag and is pursuing a further appeal against conviction.

Dizaei won his job back with the Metropolitan Police before the retrial, but has been suspended on full salary, pending the disciplinary process.

He asked Mrs Justice Lang for an injunction adjourning the hearing, claiming that he received notification of the date, and details of funding of his legal expenses, too late for him to find representation. He claimed that the Metropolitan Police had been negligent in its handling of the misconduct proceedings – which he says should await the outcome of any criminal appeal.

Dismissing the application, the judge said that there was no evidence of negligence and that the claim was misconceived in law and had no prospect of success.

Dizaei was aware of the hearing date in good time and well aware of the provisions relating to legal representation and funding, she added. “The difficulty he finds himself in, in his lack of legal representation, is one of his own making.”

Dizaei was ordered to pay the £4,330 police costs of contesting the application.


Senior MPs have said there must be “zero tolerance” of racism in the police following the disclosure that an officer had been suspended for allegedly racially abusing a suspect during the London riots.

There was shock and anger after it was reported that the officer – named by sources as Pc Alex MacFarlane – told the 21-year-old black man: “The problem with you is you will always be a nigger, yeah?

“That’s your problem, yeah.”

The chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee Keith Vaz said he was “deeply concerned” at the way the case was handled after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) originally decided not to bring charges.

According to The Guardian, the suspect was able to record the remarks on his mobile phone as he was being taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police officer on August 11 last year.

After receiving a file about the incident from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the CPS initially decided not to charge Mr MacFarlane and two other officers who were allegedly involved.

However last night the CPS said that it would look again at the case following a complaint from the detained man’s lawyer.

Mr Vaz said that it was now essential to establish exactly what had happened.

“I am deeply concerned by these allegations and the way in which they have been handled,” he said.

“We must establish the facts as to what actually occurred on August 11. However what I have heard suggests that lessons of the past have not been learned.

“If we are to have a police force that is trusted by its public, it has to be trusted by all people irrespective of their race. There must be zero tolerance towards the type of behaviour alleged in this case, not just by the perpetrator but also anyone who observes racist behaviour and does not stop it.

“This is not just a matter of potential criminality, this is a matter of standards and ethics.”

Grace Ononiwu, deputy chief crown prosecutor for the CPS London, said: “Lawyers for the complainant have written to the CPS and asked us to review our decision.

“I have considered the matter personally and directed that all of the evidence should be reconsidered and a fresh decision taken by a senior lawyer with no previous involvement in this matter.

“That process will be completed as soon as possible and is the procedure we often adopt when pre-action protocol judicial review proceedings are initiated.”

The Guardian reported that Mr MacFarlane also said to the man, who has not been named: “You’ll always have black skin colour.

“Don’t hide behind your colour, yeah,” adding: “Be proud. Be proud of who you are, yeah. Don’t hide behind your black skin.”

Shortly before the recording ends, the man can be heard saying: “I get this all the time,” and telling the officer: “Make sure you do a lot with your sixty grand, ‘cos you’re not going to get it no more, bruv.”

He then tells the officer: “We’ll definitely speak again about this. It’s gonna go all the way, it’s gonna go all the way – remember.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service received a complaint alleging a man arrested on August 11 2011 was subjected to discriminatory behaviour (racial remarks); assault and oppressive conduct/or harassment.

“These are serious allegations; any use of racist language or excessive use of force is not acceptable.

“The MPS’s Directorate of Professional Standards referred this case to the IPCC who are independently investigating.

“Following the alleged incident, three officers were the subject of a misconductinvestigation. One of the officers has been suspended in relation to this matter pending the result of the IPCC investigation.

“One of the officers has been placed on restricted duties on an unrelated matter and another remains on full duties.”


Scotland Yard’s communications chief has resigned after the London force decided to launch disciplinary proceedings against him over the awarding of a contract to an ex-News of the World executive.


Dick Fedorcio was facing gross misconduct allegations over the decision to hire the Sunday tabloid’s former executive editor Neil Wallis to provide PR advice for the Metropolitan Police.


An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concluded that Mr Fedorcio had a “case to answer” over the procurement of the contract.


Mr Wallis’s company Chamy Media was paid £24,000 by the Met for communications advice between October 2009 and September 2010.


Mr Fedorcio had been on extended leave from Scotland Yard since August pending the investigation into his relationship with the former News of the World executive, who was arrested on suspicion of phone-hacking last July but has not been charged. The IPCC’s report, which it sent to the Met on January 10, will be made public shortly.


Earlier this month the Leveson Inquiry into press standards heard that Mr Fedorcio invited people from leading PR firms Bell Pottinger and Hanover to submit rival bids for the contract that was awarded to Mr Wallis.


Chairman Lord Justice Leveson suggested that the Met head of public affairs chose these companies because he knew they would be more expensive than the former News of the World executive, adding: “The point is, this is set up to get a result.”


Mr Fedorcio denied this, but confirmed that he initially wanted to award the contract to Mr Wallis without any competition.


Mr Wallis offered his services as a PR consultant to the Met over lunch with Mr Fedorcio in August 2009, the inquiry heard.


The Scotland Yard communications chief, whose deputy was on long-term sick leave at the time, discussed the possibility of hiring the ex-tabloid executive with then-assistant commissioner John Yates. Mr Yates said Mr Wallis gave him “categorical assurances” that there was nothing about the News of the World phone-hacking case that could emerge later to embarrass the Metropolitan Police if he was given the job.



Commander Ali Dizaei arrests the young web designer

‘Sheer vengeance’

 Ali Dizaei says he now faces becoming homeless for being an ‘outsider’. By Paul Peachey, The Independent

He calls himself a “radical activist” and compares himself to some of the victims of the most notorious miscarriages of justice of the modern era. He paints himself as an outsider of an “old boy’s network” at Scotland Yard and the target of a media witch-hunt. But Ali Dizaei, the most senior police officer found guilty of corruption for a generation, said at the end of the day “I’m just a copper”.

Not for much longer. Dizaei, 49, is expected to be drummed out of the Metropolitan Police after a controversial 25-year career punctuated by conflict, suspensions, some plaudits and, last month, a criminal conviction for attempting to frame a young web designer in a dispute over an unpaid bill.

The Iranian-born officer is suspended without pay, but is unlikely to go quietly. He is continuing with what he calls his five-year plan to clear his name following his latest two-week stint in solitary confinement at Wandsworth Prison in south London. He emerged last week wearing an electronic tag.

In a wide-ranging interview with i at his home in west London this week, the suspended senior officer spoke of his time inside prison and his plans to sue News International after learning last year that he may have been a victim of phone hacking.

He also spoke of the threat to his home after being hit with a six-figure bill for prosecution costs.

“They want the costs for putting me in prison,” said the former commander, who once earned £90,000 a year. “They want to make me homeless. This is all I have. They want me to sell my house, so my family is homeless as well.”

Any sympathy is likely to be in short supply at Scotland Yard, where he had been an officer since 1999. His eventful career saw him suspended and put under surveillance during the multimillion pound Operation Helios over allegations that he had corrupt links with criminals and spied for the Iranians. The allegations proved to be unfounded.

Afterwards, Dizaei was at the heart of some of the very public ructions over racism within the country’s biggest force in the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. He was finally brought down over a clash with a man who claimed that Dizaei had not paid him for work on a personal website.

He was jailed in 2010 for the wrongful arrest of Waad al-Baghdadi and served 462 days in prison before being freed on appeal after it emerged that his accuser was a benefit fraudster. During his first time inside, he was attacked twice – once being assaulted by six other inmates and having excrement stuffed in his face and mouth, he said.

He was convicted at a second trial last month and spent his two weeks inside in solitary confinement because of the risk of him being attacked by other prisoners. It was a block with some of the most disruptive prisoners at Wandsworth.

He said: “In the cells across from me, they were shouting, ‘f***ing copper, we’re going to get you when you go to have your meals’. The threats were being thrown at me all the time, day and night. They knew I was there because my name was prominently displayed on the door of my cell.”

He said he spent his latest spell inside reading thrillers. Dizaei said his experiences at more than four prisons during his near 16 months on the other side of the fence highlighted failings of the criminal justice system. He said that overcrowded prisons did little to rehabilitate inmates.

“One of the reasons I believe that prison doesn’t work is because for quite a lot of people the initial shock of going into prison wears away after two to three weeks,” he said. “As human beings, we take it in our stride very quickly.

“Prisons are bursting from overcapacity. There were not enough courses for the prisoners to do. The courses that were on offer were not a means to an end. There was nothing to prepare the prisoner and get them match-fit so they could come out and leave crime for a new life.”

Now out, he is preparing a claim against News International after he was told that his phone might have been hacked while he was acting as legal advisor to the national Black Police Association in 2006. He said he was told “it was in a pattern which was consistent with tapping voicemails but they have been generally unhelpful because they don’t like Ali Dizaei”.

He said he does not know what he will do next, but is unlikely to be an officer. “The Metropolitan Police doesn’t warm to radical activists,” he said. “It’s against the nature of the beast.”

Mark Leech editor of Converse the national prisoners newspaper says:

“Ali Dizaei has served his time and now deserves all the help he can get to put his life back on track – in prison he was treated disgracefully.

“Forcing him now to sell his home and make his family homeless is sheer vengeance, not justice; the State has had its pound of flesh and should now leave him alone.”