Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack has written to Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings requesting that Senior Magistrate Leron Daly be removed from hearing the cyber crime case against Police Sergeant Dion Bascom.
In the letter, the DPP said while she recognizes that Magistrate Daly does not appear to have a personal interest in the matter before her, she believe the conduct of the Magistrate is sufficient reason for her to be removed from hearing the case.
The DPP is not happy that on Wednesday, the Magistrate ordered the Police Legal Adviser, Attorney Mandel Moore to be removed from the Court and taken into custody over his refusal to provide the Court with a copy of the Police press conference that saw a response to the cover-up claims made by the Police Sergeant Dion Bascom.
The Magistrate’s decision to have the Attorney briefly detained in the Police holding facility at the Court followed her warning to the Attorney about his refusal to provide the Court with a copy of the video recording. He was released from custody after giving an undertaking to the Court that the video recording will be provided.
When the matter was called this morning, the Magistrate informed the Court of the letter that was addressed to the Chancellor but copied to her, requesting her recusal from the case.
Attorney Nigel Hughes who is representing the Police Sergeant in the matter raised an objection to the DPP’s request, describing it as an assault of the Court.
Hughes said in her request for the Magistrate to be removed from hearing he matter, the DPP has not any proper reason for the request. He said he would challenge the move in the High Court since he believes it could affect his client’s right to a fair trial.
The Magistrate adjourned today’s hearing and announced that she will announce her decision about the request for her to be removed from the case, at the next Court date in mid-October.
The DPP just recently withdrew a private criminal charge that was filed by Hughes’ client Sgt. Dion Bascom against Crime Chief Wendel Blanhum. The DPP did not provide any reason for her decision to withdraw the private cyber crime charge and never requested statements or evidence from the Attorney who filed the case.
The Police Sergeant was slapped with two cyber crime charges over statements he made at a press conference about an alleged cover-up of the investigations into the murder of biker Ricardo Fagundes. He has accused top officers in the Guyana Police Force of being part of the cover up.
Since the Police Force filed the cyber crime charges against him, he has been interdicted from duty.