Caesar says Bascom’s allegations untrue; demands apology, $50M for defamation
Superintendent of Police Mitchell Caesar has written to police detective Dion Bascom demanding that he retracts allegations levelled against him, issue an apology and pay compensation for defamation in the sum of $50 million.
The letter, penned by Caesar’s attorney Sohan Poonai, follows allegations made by Bascom that Caesar was involved in attempts to cover up and interfere in the murder investigation of popular gold dealer and biker Ricardo Fagundes.
Among other things, Bascom claimed in a Facebook live video, which he later deleted, that Caesar was unprofessional in handling the police investigation and that he collected bribes in the sum of $30 million “fuh cover up this murder.”
Caesar says the wholly unhinged, expletive-laden and defamatory rant was both libelous and slanderous.
In that same rant, Bascom has challenged Caesar and others named to take him to court over the statements which he says he stands by.
Caesar contends that although the live recording was later removed from Facebook, it was already shared and downloaded.
Caesar further contends that the removed post along with a subsequent post made by Bascom are defamatory in the natural and ordinary meaning of the words uttered and by way of innuendo.
“All of these statements and accusations against my client are patently false, without justification, misleading, defamatory and have caused significant harm and injury to my client, his good name, his reputation and lowered his standing in the Guyanese and international community,” the letter noted.
As a consequence, Bascom was instructed to issue a retraction and an apology that “must include an admittance that the statements uttered… were false, misleading and uttered without justification.”
Caesar also wants Bascom to pay him monetary damages in a sum agreed upon within seven days; if not, Caesar has threatened to take the matter to Court where he will seek damages in the sum of $50 million.
Bascom was warned in the letter that his actions are also criminal as it breaches the Cyber Crime Act which may give rise to criminal charges.
The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) of the Guyana Police Force has been instructed to commence an investigation into the damning allegations made on social media by police detective Bascom.
Bascom, a 33-year-old Police Sergeant, was among five persons arrested on Monday by ranks of the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU) after three pounds of cocaine were found in a Norton street, Georgetown, residence.
In a Facebook video on Thursday, Bascom said that he was only visiting a friend at the Norton Street premises when the bust was made.
Though arrested, Bascom was not charged. He has since been released.
He, however, alleged that he was being targeted for highlighting concerning occurrences in the police force including a cover-up that may have impacted the investigation into the murder of popular gold dealer and biker Ricardo Fagundes.
Fagundes, also called Paper Shorts, was riddled with bullets on March 21, 2021, on Main Street, Georgetown, moments after he exited the Palm Court nightclub.
In response to the Sergeant’s claims, the Guyana Police Force issued a short release.
The entire police release read: “The Guyana Police Force has taken note of a video which was circulating on social media which has now been deleted, and a subsequent post on Facebook by Dion Bascom.
“The Office of Professional Responsibility has since been instructed to commence an investigation.”