Superintendent Ali Dizaei, now acquitted of all the court charges against him, was put to the sword by his fellow police officers at Scotland Yard. He rose rapidly through the ranks of the Thames Valley and Metropolitan forces and was positioned to become Britain's first black chief constable. Then he was accused of being a pimp, a thief, a fraudster, a perjurer, a drug-pusher and a threat to national security.
I have met Dizaei in television hospitality rooms. He is an exceptionally intelligent man, debonair, built like an athlete. The last time we met, he was preparing his PhD thesis. He was obviously unhappy with the way the police hierarchy treated officers who had joined the force despite the hostility of those in minority communities, including myself. He implied that the hierarchy was not using the strengths of those who joined. Senior officers expected to strip black and Asian recruits of all their cultural and social inheritances and to mould them into dark shadows of white men. Dizaei wasn't having it. In his view, blacks and Asians had something original to contribute.
Dizaei hadn't entered the usual police canteen culture; he was no Freemason; he was not, in short, one of the boys. I suggested that he might do much better if he pursued an academic career. But he was determined to work as a policeman - and aimed at the highest level of the Met. He didn't know then that a huge operation had already been launched against him because of his failure to toe the line.
The major thrust of the investigation, which brought in MI5, turned on the suspicion that he was a threat to national security. He was head of operations in Kensington of London, an area that housed several embassies. He was seen entering the Iranian embassy on several occasions.
But Dizaei was himself Iranian and he had friends at the embassy. Wherever he went, and with whomever he socialised, his enemies put a negative slant on it. His sexual life was leaked to the Daily Mail, which is always avaricious for material that will demean key members of the immigrant community.
Now the case against him has crumbled into dust at the Old Bailey. There is still an internal inquiry against him, but, whatever happens, the Met will pay dearly. The National Black Police Association is telling members of the black community not to join the Met and other police forces. Catastrophe looms.