DPP writes Chancellor seeking Magistrate Daly’s removal from Dion Bascom case
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack has written Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards for City Magistrate Leron Daly to be removed from presiding over the case involving Police Detective Dion Bascom.
The request comes one day after Magistrate Daly held Police Legal Advisor Mandel Moore in contempt after he reportedly disobeyed her order to hand over a piece of video evidence in Bascom’s case.
Moore gave an oral undertaking to have the evidence presented to the court by Thursday at 11:00 hours.
When the case was called on Thursday, Magistrate Daly informed the court that she had received a letter from the DPP requesting that she rescue herself from the case.
The letter was addressed to Chancellor (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards and stated that even though the Magistrate does not have a personal interest in the case, based on her conduct on Wednesday she should recuse herself.
Bascom’s attorney, Nigel Hughes objected to the new development and informed the court that will be filing a Constitutional Action as a consequence.
Hughes contended that Chancellor (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards has no jurisdiction to instruct a magistrate to recuse herself from the case.
According to Hughes, the DPP breached the hierarchy of the judiciary and also failed to raise proper grounds for the Magistrate to recuse herself.
“The DPP is attempting to influence the outcome of the decision of this court,” he said.
The attorney said this “frightening” development is an “assault” on the rule of law.
The learned attorney told the court that his client’s right to a fair trial, which is guaranteed by the constitution, was breached.
Magistrate Daly adjourned the matter until October 18 for her ruling on whether she will recuse herself from the case.
The video evidence in question is the August 17, 2022 press conference held by the Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken and Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum at the Police Headquarters at Eve Leary, Georgetown.
During the press conference, Blanhum shared tidbits of the investigations into the claims made by Bascom. Referencing a few specific allegations, Blanhum debunked Bascom’s claims of a cover-up of the murder of Ricardo Fagundes.
However, Moore did not hand this over to the court given the recent developments on Thursday.
Dion Bascom is currently out on $300,000 bail for allegedly harassing two of his senior colleagues online by accusing them of ‘covering up’ the murder of Fagundes.
Earlier this month Bascom, 33, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on three cybercrime-related charges.
The charges alleged that Bascom during August used a computer system to transmit electronic data with the intent to humiliate, harass or cause substantial emotional distress to Superintendents Mitchell Ceasar and Chabinauth Singh.
The matter was transferred to Magistrate Daly for trial which is slated to commence on November 9.
On August 8, Bascom was among five persons arrested by the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU) after three pounds of cocaine were found in a Norton Street, Georgetown, residence.
Though arrested, Bascom was not charged and was released by CANU, but he went live on his Facebook page and made several damning allegations of corruption against city businessman Azruddin Mohamed and senior officers of the Police Force as it relates to the murder of Fagundes.
Fagundes was riddled with bullets on March 21, 2021, on Main Street, Georgetown, moments after he exited a nightclub.
Bascom has since deleted the live video over fears about his family’s life.
An investigation carried out by the Regional Security System (RSS) did not find any evidence of corrupt practices or an attempt to cover up the probe into Fagundes’ murder