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Attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes, who is representing Detective Sergeant Dion Bascom, has written to Commissioner Of Information (COI), Charles Ramson Sr, requesting a copy of the Regional Security System (RSS) Report pursuant to the Access to Information Act
On Sunday, Hughes wrote acting Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken, requesting a copy of the report but has had no response. The non-response has informed the decision to write the COI, said the attorney, at a press conference on Friday he shared with Bascom.
Thus far the only information the public has on the RSS’ report is a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs that there is no evidence to suggest there was any attempt to cover-up the investigation into the killing of Ricardo Fagundes aka Paper Short and there is also no evidence of corrupt practices as alleged by Sergeant Bascom.
Fagundes was killed in a hail of bullets in front of Palm Court nightclub, in Georgetown on March 21, 2021. In a damning social recording on August 11, Bascom accused senior members of the Force of being corrupt and implicated Superintendent Mitchell Caesar in a cover up with city businessman Nazruddin Mohamed and security guard Mark Richmond in the killing of Fagundes. The named have denied the allegations and the businessman has since filed a $200 million defamation lawsuit against the sergeant.
It was the sergeant’s post that influenced the Ministry of Home Affairs/Guyana Police Force to invite the RSS to do an inquiry. The RSS did not interview Bascom.
This was not lost on the sergeant who shortly after the ministry’s release queried: “First thing how can the RSS do any kind of investigation without interviewing me, the person that is speaking out about this cover-up; How can the RSS say that the bribery allegations are hear-say without interviewing me to find out where I get that information from and whether the person that told me had proof of same?”
More than a month since President Irfaan Ali was written to by Hughes requesting “witness protection” for his client, pursuant to Section 20 of the Protected Disclosures Act (2018), there has been no response or action.
We have not heard from President Ali but would have hoped he was concerned enough for the safety of a serving member of the Force, particularly when there was clear and credible evidence his life was in danger, some level of attentive would have been manifest from his office to ensure that a citizen of this country would be protected and kept alive, said the attorney.
The attorney is however not waiting solely on the President to guarantee Bascom’s protection. He has made known, whilst he would not divulge information about ongoing efforts to protect his client, out of concern that he ends up at “Sandy’s” (funeral parlour), there is a plan to ensure his safety.