Director of Public Prosecutions orders probe into CCN TV6’s airing of child rape video clip

via Saturday Express

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard has instructed the police to investigate the airing of a video clip on Ian Alleyne’s “Crime Watch” programme on CCN TV6.

“I have directed police to conduct a criminal investigation immediately,” Gaspard told the Express in a telephone interview yesterday.

“What was disclosed to me by the Telecommunications Authority strongly suggests a need for a criminal investigation,” he added.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of crime, Harold Phillip, confirmed to the Express that he had in fact received correspondence from the DPP only yesterday.

Phillip described the ongoing police exercise as “a serious investigation”.

“We will give it the seriousness it deserves,” he said.

The video clip, which shows the rape of a 13-year-old girl, was aired on TV6 on October 25 at 6 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. and on October 26 at 6 p.m.

The clip was the subject of a release issued by Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) on October 31, which stated that the Authority had “written CCN TV6  and forwarded a copy of that letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions in view of the potential breach of the Sexual Offences Act, by airing on television a video clip showing the rape of a child”.

The airing of the video triggered expressions of public outrage from several sectors of civil society, including the Media Association, the Trinidad and Tobago Broadcasters and Publishers Association and the Rape Crisis Society.

On October 31, on his Crime Watch programme, Alleyne defended his decision to air the video and apologised.

Although he admitted the face of the victim was shown in error, Alleyne said his detractors would not stop him from doing his job. He further pointed out that the incident shown in the video clip had happened since June and the suspect was arrested only after the video was shown.

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