Kaieteur News – Senior Magistrate Leron Daly at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, on Wednesday ordered that Police Legal Advisor, and Special Prosecutor, Mandel Moore be placed in custody after he repeatedly failed to produce evidence in the cybercrime case against Detective Sergeant, Dion Bascom.
The Police Sergeant, who was recently interdicted from duty, was slapped with three cybercrime offences some two weeks ago. The charges were as a result of him exposing alleged corruption in the investigation into the murder of businessman, Ricardo ‘Paper Shorts’ Fagundes.
At a previous hearing of the matter, the magistrate had requested that Prosecutor Moore submit a copy of the Police press conference – during which Acting Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken and Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum refuted the claims made by Bascom. Moore had informed the court that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) did not record the press conference and as such, he was unable to obtain a copy.
Senior Magistrate Daly contended that the press conference was streamed live on multiple platforms and as such, the prosecutor should be able to produce a copy to the court. On Wednesday, when the matter was called Prosecutor Moore once again informed the court that he does not have a copy of the Police press conference to submit to the court. The matter was then set down for the afternoon period to give the prosecutor time to obtain a copy of the press conference.
However, when the matter was called on Wednesday afternoon, Prosecutor Moore was still unable to produce the recording of the press conference to the court. As such, Senior Magistrate Daly, held the prosecutor in contempt of the court and ordered that he be escorted and placed in the lock-ups.
Senior Magistrate Daly then recalled the matter, ordered the Prosecutor Moore be released from custody and gave him 24hours to submit the evidence to the court. Contrary to what occurred in court – the Guyana Police Force – on their Facebook page posted “Police PLA Mandel Moore was never remanded, nor is he in custody. Contrary to reports circulating on social media today, be advised that the Police Legal Advisor Mr. Mandel Moore was never remanded nor is he in custody.”
On September 14, Bascom and his lawyer, Nigel Hughes made their first court appearance at the City Court. He was slapped with three counts of using a computer system to humiliate a person, contrary to section 19(5) (a) of the Cyber Crime Act of 2018.
The first charge alleges that on Friday, August 19, 2022, at Hadfield Street, Georgetown, Bascom used a computer system to transmit electronic data with intent to humiliate, harass or cause substantial emotional distress to Superintendent Chabinauth Singh.
The two other charges allege that on August 13 and 19, 2022, at Hadfield Street, Georgetown, the detective used a computer system to transmit electronic data with intent to humiliate, harass or cause substantial emotional distress to Superintendent Mitchell Caesar.
The detective denied the charges that were read to him and he was placed on a total of $300,000 bail and on November 9, the trial into the matter is scheduled to commence.
Bascom was charged weeks after he made accusations about an alleged police cover-up in the murder of Ricardo Fagundes, known as ‘Paper Shorts’. He had made a Facebook live accusing several high-ranking members of the GPF of covering-up the findings unearthed in Fagundes’ murder investigation.
In fact, he had made accusations against his bosses at the Force’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), claiming that they were bribed. Fagundes was gunned down on March 21, 2021, moments after stepping out of a popular bar on Main Street, Georgetown by two men who emerged from the back seat of a heavily tinted, white Toyota Fielder Wagon.
Following Bascom’s allegations, the Force had not only denied the claims but had called Bascom a liar and even investigated him for breaching its code of conduct. Nevertheless, Bascom stood by his allegations and publicly stated that he had evidence too. He had stated, however, that he was fearful for his life and needed protection.
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