Oct 01, 2022 Letters
How much longer can the public tolerate police clumsiness, incompetence, cover-ups, and alleged corrupt practices in the country? It is time for us to have a professional, competent and anti-corrupt police force in the country to investigate crime and other illegal activities fairly so that the public can have confidence in the force. Except for those in the government, few Guyanese believe or trust the police force.
On September 28, the Police Legal Advisor and Special Prosecutor, Mandel Moore was unable to produce evidence in the cybercrime case against Detective Sergeant, Dion Bascom. The evidence in question is the recording of a press conference by Bascom which was streamed live on multiple media platforms and as such, the prosecutor should be able to produce a copy to the court. However, Senior Magistrate Daly repeatedly asked Prosecutor Moore for the recording but he informed the court that he does not have a copy of the recording. Believing that Prosecutor Moore was not cooperating, Senior Magistrate Daly would have none of it and held the prosecutor in contempt of the court and ordered that he be placed in custody in the lock-ups. The Police was quick to declare that Prosecutor Moore was never placed in custody which is false!
This is an ongoing scenario in a litany of the bungling of a number of cases by the police with seemingly no end in sight. With government expenditures in the legal system skyrocketing to billions of dollars to ensure Guyanese are treated fairly and that there are improvements in law enforcements, yet one is left to wonder what aspects of law enforcement and criminal proceedings have seen improvements. The recent dismissal of the case against the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Sharon Hicks, who was arrested by the police after allegedly demanding bribes from a businessman who paid her with marked bills that were retrieved by the police during a sting operation shows that the legal system is a total calamity.
The recent investigation in the Fagundes aka Paper Shorts’ murder case by the Regional Security System (RSS) has turned out to be somewhat of a sham. Not only did the RSS refuse to interview the whistleblower Detective Sergeant Dion Bascom, but also the government has refused to make the full report public despite several efforts by Bascom’s lawyers to do so. Further, many felt that the report issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs is meant to mislead the nation into believing that the police have done nothing wrong and that there is no attempt to cover-up the case. This is far from the truth; most Guyanese believe that the Police Force is indeed corrupt and that some bribery took place to cover-up the case. The Police Force is unprincipled and untrustworthy. However, the truth will be revealed sooner rather than later.
Leyland Chitlall Roopnaraine
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