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Pres. Ali not against granting Bascom protection but wants to review lawyer’s letter

L-R: President Irfaan Ali and Police Sergeant Dion Bascom

President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday said he is not against the idea of granting witness protection to Police Sergeant Dion Bascom, who has fingered several senior ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) into covering up the murder of Ricardo Fagundes, known as ‘Paper Shorts.’

Nigel Hughes, who is representing Bascom, had written to President Ali requesting witness protection under the Protected Disclosures Act.

But the Head of State said while he is not against the request, he first needs to look at the content of the letter.

“I’ve made it very clear that everything must be done professionally. I have not seen the letter as yet. I am not saying the letter has not been sent [...]. I have not addressed my mind to the letter as yet because I have not seen the content of the letter […]. I wouldn’t say I am against it (witness protection), […]. I have to see what is the nature of what is being asked for,” the Head of State told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

President Ali noted that he has instructed the GPF to have a transparent investigation into the allegations.

He also highlighted that his administration is actively working towards strengthening institutions that deal with matters of this nature and have begun discussing with some partners such as the US.

For this particular matter, he revealed that the GPF is seeking advice internationally on some aspects but noted that very soon, a media engagement will be held to update the public on what has been the findings of the investigation thus far.

On Tuesday night, the Guyana Police Force’s Communications Unit said the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigation was completed, and legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was being sought.

The CCU added that Sergeant Bascom has refused to submit himself to any investigation by the Police or provide evidence supporting the allegations he made.

Though he has been slapped with several lawyer’s letters, the Police Sergeant said he stands by the claims while noting that he has shreds of evidence to support his case.

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