Attorneys for T&T ‘Crime Watch’ host write top cop saying detention is illegal

(Trinidad Express) Attorneys representing CCN TV6’s Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne yesterday wrote to Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs, claiming their client’s arrest and continued detention was illegal.

The attorneys, Om Lalla and Dereck Balliram, who delivered their letter to the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain yesterday, said they have given Gibbs until today to respond or they will seek the intervention of the High Court.

Lalla said 48 hours have passed since Alleyne was arrested on Thursday by the police to be interviewed and up to late yesterday they had not been told the reason for his continued detention.

“If the Commissioner does not release him, we will go for a (writ of) habeas corpus (today),” Lalla said.

However, Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Anti-Crime Operations Mervyn Richardson confirmed to the Sunday Express that Alleyne had been charged with three offences under the Sexual Offences Act and another charge of resisting arrest but the warrants had not yet been executed on him because he remained warded at hospital.

In their letter to Gibbs, the attorneys said that since they are not aware of any charges being laid against Alleyne, he should be released forthwith.

They also issued a pre-action protocol letter to Gibbs claiming their client’s constitutional rights were violated and he was subjected to violent physical assault at the hands of the police.

Gibbs was given 21 days to respond.

Failing to do so will result in legal proceedings being filed against him, Acting ASP Ajith Persad and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.

Speaking with members of the media outside the Port of Spain CID office at Police Headquarters on St Vincent Street yesterday, Lalla said his client was yet to be informed by the police for his detention.

Lalla added that the police have failed to inform him or his client of the reason for his detention or if charges are to be laid against Alleyne.

He added that they have been hearing about charges being laid against Alleyne through the media but have had no word from the police on the substantive matter.

Lalla also described the police action as an attack against the media and fellow members could easily fall victim to abuse at the hands of police officers.

“We are instructed that our client’s plea to be informed of the reason of his arrest only served to have aggravated Mr Persad who in turn begun to physically and violently assault our client which resulted in our client being thrown onto a vehicle which was parked within the precincts of CCN TV6,” the pre-action protocol letter stated.

The attorneys also contend that the police abused their powers by the use of unwarranted, excessive force.

A letter of complaint was also sent to Chairman of the Police Service Complaints Authority Gillian Lucky which sought an investigation into claims that Alleyne was physically, wrongfully arrested and detained by police.

 

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