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Invasion of privacy

The trinidad Guardian / Chief Justice Ivor Archie has sent a pre-action protocol letter to CrimeWatch host Ian Alleyne and the Synergy Entertainment Network for defamation and breach of privacy.

The letter, sent on behalf of Archie by attorney Keith Scotland to Alleyne, accuses Alleyne of “invasion of privacy” and of “words and or actions and or imputations and or innuendo.”

Alleyne is accused of observing the CJ, identified as the intended claimant, in a public place and video recording the vehicles and escort vehicles of the CJ while they proceeded through the Price Plaza compound on Tuesday (October 30).

The letter accuses Alleyne of video recording the CJ at TGI Fridays and following him around without his permission and uttering words that “sought to impugn the character of the intended claimant (CJ) and cast aspersions on the intended claimant and his conduct.” Alleyne is also accused of publishing and or causing to be published “the defamatory words and committed the said conduct in breach of privacy.”

The letter deemed the offending words published by Alleyne as “baseless, false and malicious.” It said the “slanderous and/or libellous statements have sullied the good name of the intended claimant, have damaged his reputation and have brought him into public odium and disrepute, thereby exposing him to public ridicule and contempt.”

The CJ, through Scotland, noted the “extensive airing and re-airing of the offending publication” was “perpetrated to specifically injure” his reputation, given that he is “at all times a public figure.” Alleyne is also accused of causing a “significant security breach” by publishing in the public domain “all the registration numbers of the vehicles assigned to the intended claimant, including his personal vehicle.”

The CJ is demanding “an unqualified public retraction of all of the allegations,” as well as “a proper apology” on terms to be agreed. The apology “is required to be released to the local, and international media and placed on the world wide web, and in a manner no less prominent than the allegations” which were the basis of the complaint. Alleyne has also been asked to give an undertaking “not to repeat the said allegations or similar allegations or conduct.”

The CJ is demanding a substantial sum in damages and Alleyne is being asked to pay the CJ’s legal costs.

The CrimeWatch host has been given 28 days to apologise and withdraw publication. The T&T Guardian understands Alleyne has already given an oral undertaking not to re-air or publish the offending material. He has also been asked to remove the offending material from You tube, Facebook and any other electronic, print or any forum used to communicate to the public.

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