Tomorrow is decision day for the people of Tobago as they move to elect a new Chief Secretary for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).
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Ian Alleyne case adjourned for third time
The trial involving TV6’s Crime Watch television host Ian Alleyne was unable to begin yesterday after prosecutor George Busby indicated his inability to proceed as he was yet to complete the process of filing and serving documents on opposing counsel. Busby had been granted two previous adjournments when the matter was called last October 9 and December 13, respectively.
Set for trial before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar in the Port-of-Spain Eighth Court yesterday, Busby requested a short adjournment as he said that he was “halfway through” filing statements. During the hearing last December, Busby said the prosecution had 22 witnesses and would file statements. Alleyne is facing three charges under Section 32 (2) of the Sexual Offences Act which makes it an offence to reveal the identity of a rape victim during a broadcast.
The charges stem from a video depicting the rape of a 13-year-old which was allegedly aired three times on television station TV6 in October 2011. Alleyne also faces an additional charge of resisting arresting officer ASP Ajith Persad in the execution of his duties. Also charged alongside Alleyne are executives of the Caribbean Communications Network (CCN), the parent company of TV6, which airs Alleyne’s nightly Crime Watch programme.
CCN faces three similar charges as Alleyne, as well as six charges under the Telecommunications Act for alleged breaches of their licence and concession which was issued by the Telecommunications Authority of T&T (TATT).
CCN continues to be represented in the matter by attorneys Sophia Chote, SC, Michelle Solomon-Baksh and Trevor Clarke. Alleyne is represented by attorneys Om Lalla and Derrick Balliram. Attorney Simonne Jaggernauth also appears alongside Busby for the prosecution. Standing before Ayers-Caesar at 10.09 am yesterday, Busby apologised for not fulfilling a promise to file and serve the papers on time.
Indicating he had already communicated his position to the other attorneys, Busby promised to be ready by the next hearing. With no objections forthcoming from Chote and Lalla, Ayers-Caesar later granted the adjournment after hearing from Lalla he was now “taking instructions” from Alleyne. Although Lalla did not reveal what those instructions were, he promised the court opposing counsel would be informed beforehand.
The matter was adjourned and a new trial date of March 6 was agreed on. Police complainant, ASP Ajith Persad of the Port-of-Spain CID, was in court yesterday.