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Detective Sergeant Dion Bascom
A press conference this afternoon by Detective Sergeant Dion Bascom and his attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes cast serious doubts on the press conference held by acting Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken and Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum on Wednesday.
Bascom denied what the Crime Chief said was “credible information” he, Bascom, had nothing to do with Rondell Bacchus’ arrest. Responding to a question posed by Mark Benschop of the ‘Straight Up’ Programme as to how he felt about the denial by the Force, the sergeant said the Crime Chief is being dishonest because he and others are aware it was him who took Bacchus into Eve Leary Police Station.
The Force denied Bascom spoke with a Kaieteur News’ reporter in February. According to his attorney, at an appropriate forum, the reporter is prepared to come forward and provide evidence they spoke with Bascom. One by one Bascom and his attorney debunked the claims made by the Force at the press conference on Wednesday, including their denial the Force does not have the technological capacity to trace a call.
Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Clinton Conway in an earlier conversation with Village Voice did question the credibility of the Force’s statements. Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Slowe, appearing Thursday on ‘Straight Up,’ also questioned the Police’s statements.
Hughes, speaking today, raised similar concerns as Conway and Slowe. Expressing reservation about the “lack of capacity in content” as displayed by the Crime Chief, the attorney said, “if this is the level of competence as demonstrated by [the Force’s] best and finest, they cannot solve the crime,” i.e., the killing of Ricardo Fagundes aka ‘Paper shorts.’
Concerning the protection of Bascom, Hughes reiterated concern for his client’s safety and the government’s inaction, thus far, to favourably respond. Asked by Gordon Moseley, ‘News Source,’ if assistance for protection has been sought elsewhere, the lawyer responded in the affirmative. He, however, thought it was fair to give Guyana the first opportunity to provide such protection but if that fails will pursue other avenues. President Irfaan Ali was written days ago by Hughes seeking “witness protection” for his client pursuant to Section 20 of the Protected Disclosures Act (2018).
As at this evening no arrangement has been put in place for the security of the sergeant, including request made to Hicken to grant special leave cognizant of Bascom’s safety, given that he is stationed in Essequibo but lives in Georgetown, and anything untoward could happen to him in the course of traveling from home to work.
Bascom shared information that a suspicious person has driven by his house and from his experience he feels his place is being “recky’ and it could be by the police or someone else.
The sergeant continues to stand by statements he made in an explosive social media post he has since removed. He has accused senior members of the Force of being corrupt and implicated Superintendent Mitchell Caesar in a cover up with city businessman, Nazruddin Mohamed, in the killing of Fagundes on March 21, 2021. Both have denied the allegations.
Fagundes was killed in a hail of bullets in front of Palm Court nightclub, Georgetown. The Force has distanced themselves from Bascom’s allegations about police professionalism and said they have enlisted international support in solving the killing of ‘Paper Shorts.’