Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne has parted ways with his long-time friend and occasional co-host Om Lalla in an apparent bust-up over Alleyne's appearance on a People's Partnership (PP) platform last week.In a telephone interview yesterday, Alleyne confirmed the split with Lalla, an attorney, but said his show would not be affected by Lalla's split with him."Life goes on. I will still get the job done," Alleyne said.
Lalla contacted Guardian Media Limited (GML) managing director Gabriel Faria yesterday and asked for his image to be removed from all promotional material related to the show, including billboards, print and television advertisements.The request is still being discussed.Alleyne admitted his relations with Lalla had deteriorated after Alleyne appeared on stage during the PP's launch of its local government elections campaign in San Fernando on September 30.
He said he would not apologise for going on the platform, however, as it was the only way he could clear his name in relation to the allegations Independent Liberal Party leader Jack Warner had made.
Warner's claim sparks trouble
During a political meeting on September 26 in Point Fortin, Warner had claimed Attorney General Anand Ramlogan had asked Alleyne if he was interested in the National Security Minister post.Warner said Ramlogan had contacted Alleyne by phone and had Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in a three-way conversation on the possibility of Alleyne joining her Cabinet after a reshuffle.
Yesterday, Alleyne said: "I could not have the lies that the Prime Minister contacted me floating around. I had to clear my name."But Alleyne admitted his decision to appear on the PP platform had brought an immediate response from Lalla, as the next day, Lalla returned the file on Alleyne's case on a charge of resisting arrest which is before the courts.
Lalla had previously represented Alleyne at all hearings of the case. During a hearing on September 16, Lalla said he would be stepping down as Alleyne's attorney because he was a witness in the case and believed it was a clear conflict of interest.Alleyne has since retained Senior Counsel Israel Khan and former High Court judge Larry Lalla (no relation) to defend him.
Khan is also representing the Prime Minister in the ongoing police investigation of a series of e-mails which allegedly implicated senior government officials in a conspiracy to commit criminal offences in the Section 34 matter.
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The e-mails were raised in Parliament by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley during his no-confidence motion in May against the PM.
Politics breaks friendship
Alleyne said yesterday he was disappointed and saddened by the loss of his friend, saying he believed Lalla had allowed political issues to influence him."He brought politics between our friendship," Alleyne said.Contacted yesterday evening, Lalla said he was not willing to comment further."I will not enter the debate. I spoke on it briefly this weekend. I don't want to say anything to jeopardise the situation," Lalla said.
Asked about the request for his image to be removed from Crime Watch promos, Lalla declined to comment, describing that issue as "sensitive."