Fagundes’s murder probe: Trial date set for Sergeant Dion Bascom over cybercrime charges
Police Sergeant Dion Bascom, who has allegedly committed cybercrime offences against three senior Police officers, is due to go on trial on November 9 before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly.
Sergeant Bascom was arraigned last week at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on cybercrime charges in connection with Facebook live videos in which he accused several senior Police officers of a massive cover-up in the probe into the murder of gold dealer Ricardo Fagundes, who was executed in a hail of bullets outside the Palm Court nightclub in March 2021.
Bascom is facing three charges. It is alleged that twice between August 13 and August 19, he used a computer system to transmit electronic data with intent to humiliate, harass, or cause distress to Superintendent Mitchell Caesar; and on one occasion, he allegedly did the same to Superintendent Chabinauth Singh.
Sergeant Bascom has been placed on a total of $300,000 bail – $100,000 on each of the three charges. During a bail application on Bascom’s behalf, Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes had requested that he be released on reasonable bail, stating that Bascom was willing to abide by any conditionality. According to the lawyer, his client is away from work on medical leave.
However, Police Legal Advisor Mandel Moore objected to Bascom being granted his pre-trial liberty by citing the serious nature of the charges and the strong likelihood of Bascom fleeing the jurisdiction, since he has a valid passport. Moore’s objections were, however, overruled by the Chief Magistrate, who granted Sergeant Bascom bail under these conditionalities: that he lodges his passport with the court and reports to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, Georgetown every other Friday.
Sergeant Bascom was among several persons arrested by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) on August 8, after a quantity of cocaine was discovered at a Norton Street, Georgetown house.
While a charge for trafficking in narcotics was laid against some of the persons, none was laid against Sergeant Bascom. Seemingly angered by his arrest, Sergeant Bascom subsequently made several Facebook live videos in which he made damning allegations of corruption against several senior Police detectives and a prominent businessman, Azruddin Mohamed.
Bascom has alleged that Police ranks have accepted bribes and are “covering up” the murder of Fagundes, called “Paper Shorts”. Police are yet to charge the perpetrators. He later deleted the posts out of fear for his family members’ lives.
Acting Police Commissioner Clifton Hicken and Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum have already debunked Sergeant Bascom’s allegations, calling them “malicious and untrue”, and Government had solicited the assistance of the Regional Security System (RSS) to investigate the claims made by Sergeant Bascom. The RSS, in pronouncing on the matter, made it clear that there was no evidence to substantiate Sergeant Bascom’s claims.
The team also found that the two live recordings made by Bascom were in contravention of Section 19 (5) (a) of the Cyber Crime Act.
Businessman Mohamed, who from the outset had distanced himself from the allegations, has since filed a $200 million defamation lawsuit against Sergeant Bascom. The businessman, in his Statement of Claim, has argued that the words and statements uttered by Bascom are all untrue, false, dangerous, disingenuous, malicious, irrational, unfair, unsubstantiated, unfounded, and baseless, thereby tarnishing and lowering his reputation.
Superintendent Caesar, through his lawyer, had threatened to take legal action against Sergeant Bascom if he did not remove the posts and offer him an apology and $50 million compensation. (G1)