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Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Clinton Conway is expressing grave disappointment in the performance of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack S.C. Appearing on Wednesday on retired ACP Paul Slowe’s online “Speaking Out” programme, Clinton addressed the most recent charge brought against embattled Detective Sergeant Dion Bascom by Mark Richmond.
Richmond, the security guard of businessman Azruddin Mohamed has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the detective. In an explosive social media post last August Bascom accused the Guyana Police Force of involvement in a cover-up in the shooting to death of Ricardo Fagundes, known as “Paper Shorts.” Shorts was gunned down in a hail of bullets on March 21, 2021, moments after leaving the Palm Court nightclub, Main Street, Georgetown.
Bascom has alleged Superintendent of Police, Mitchell Caesar, is involved in a cover up with Mohamed and Richmond about the death. They have denied involvement and all three had sent a letter to the sergeant, by the same law firm, demanding retraction and compensation and if he does not they will take him to court. The sergeant said he is sticking with his story. Mohamed filed a $200 million lawsuit last August.
Reacting to Richmond’s lawsuit Conway said “they are seeking to silence” the Bascom.
Weighing in on the DPP’s request to acting Chancellor Yonette Cummings-Edwards to remove sitting Senior Magistrate Leron Daly from presiding over the Bascom’s trial, Clinton said “while the DPP is wearing a long dress, let me say her slip is showing.”
According to him, the DPP’s action is unethical, not legal, and she is getting involved in areas outside her scope of responsibility. Whilst the DPP has wide ranging power under the Constitution of Guyana said power must be exercised without fear, malice or favour said the ACP. Going further, he said the DPP is making political decisions, in some cases on religious grounds. The DPP is a Muslin and one of the main accused in the cover-up of Fagunes’ death, Mohamed, is a Muslim.
Slowe drew attention to the Public Information Act where Bascom, whom he and Conway said is a whistleblower, enjoys protection. It is a violation under the Act to bring charges against the whistleblower, he said. The Act is clear, if the person is providing information, civil or criminal action cannot be taken against the person; however, if the person is found to be engaged in malicious act you can charge him/her, he elucidated.
According to Slowe the charge shows “It is clear this is retaliation against Bascom”
Both have expressed concerned with the DPP’s performance. Conway flat out said the performance is “Nonsence. Unconstitutional’ as Slowe expressed the view Bascom is sticking to his guns and has good lawyers at his side. When Bascom appeared in court last week he was represented by attorneys-at-law, Nigel Hughes, Khemraj Ramjattan and Narissa Leander.