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Monday, April 21, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Ruling on Alleyne’s charge January 21
Senior Magistrate Annette McKenzie will rule on January 21 whether television personality Ian Alleyne is guilty of resisting a police officer in the execution of his duties. Lawyers representing Alleyne and the State presented their closing submissions yesterday afternoon. McKenzie overruled Alleyne’s no-case submission which his lawyer Israel Khan, SC, raised in early October.
In her oral ruling, McKenzie said from her analysis of the law on no-case submissions, Alleyne had a case to answer for resisting ASP Ajith Persad on April 19 last year. McKenzie then offered Alleyne the opportunity to testify or call witnessess in his defence but Khan told the court his client did not wish to exercise either option and instead wanted to rely on the legal issues raised in his no-case submission.
In their closing submissions Khan and assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) George Busby both raised issues highlighted during hearings of the no-case submission in October. On October 7, Khan claimed Alleyne’s arrest in April last year was illegal as the police did not have reasonable cause to suspect he had committed an offence.
Yesterday Khan said the arrest should also be deemed illegal because Persad did not tell Alleyne the reasons for his arrest before trying to detain him. He also said the offence Alleyne was being arrested for was an “arrestable” one. McKenzie ruled that police were required to tell suspects why they were being arrested but said: “The law does not require police to tell them the grounds of the arrest.”
Khan told McKenzie the test she would have to apply in deciding his client’s guilt was higher than the one used in determining the no-case submission. “You have to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Alleyne is guilty of the offence,” Khan said. He said she would also have to determine if the State’s evidence against Alleyne was “cogent, compelling and convincing.” In response, Busby submitted that all Persad needed to arrest Alleyne was a “reasonable suspicion” that he was guilty of committing an offence.
“Because a suspicion is eventually shown to be incorrect, that is not unreasonable,” Busby said. Alleyne’s case was scheduled to be heard yesterday morning but Alleyne was not in court and McKenzie stood the matter down to 2.30 pm so his attorneys could contact him. When the case was recalled, with Alleyne present, his lawyer Larry Lalla said Alleyne was ill and had been heavily sedated the night before, causing him to miss the morning hearing.
Alleyne is charged with resisting ASP Ajith Persad in the execution of his duties. The charge stems from Alleyne’s arrest at television station CCN TV6’s building at Independence Square, Port-of-Spain, on April 19, 2012. He was suspected of committing offences under the Sexual Offences Act by airing a video that identified an underage rape victim.
Alleyne was eventually charged three times under Section 32 (2), which makes it an offence to reveal the identity of a rape victim during a broadcast. He pleaded guilty and was fined $30,000. He maintained his innocence on the resisting arrest charge.
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