Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police and former Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Paul Slowe believes that the Government needs to put together a Commission of Inquiry to look into the claims of a Police cover-up in a murder investigation, as made by Police Sergeant Dion Bascom.
During an appearance on the Mark Benschop show today, Mr. Slowe said he was not impressed with the press conference hosted yesterday by the Acting Police Commissioner and the Crime Chief.
He said it was clear that the intention of the Police Force was to attack the credibility of the Police Sergeant rather than to push for a proper investigation of his claims.
“The press conference has raised more questions than answers because first of all, one would have thought that if you are going to call a serious press conference, one of the things you would have been saying is that you are concerned about the allegations and that you are going to call for a proper investigation. But it is clear that the press conference was hurriedly put together to attack the credibility of Dion Bascom, which is remarkable. A police sergeant is making these allegations, and I would say based on what I know about the allegations, I tend to believe most of what he has said, I believe most of what he has said and what the Government has to do as people have been clamoring for, is to have a proper investigation”, Slowe said.
A number of other persons and groups have called for an independent probe of the serious allegations that have been made by the Police Sergeant.
Mr. Slowe said there are clear advantages to having a Commission of Inquiry to probe the allegations.
He explained that “there needs to two investigations and one is to investigate the murder of Ricardo Fagundes which occurred over 18 months ago and which seem to have reached a dead end, and a Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the allegations made by Sergeant Bascom. And I made the point yesterday that the reason for a Commission of Inquiry is because you want people to be able to give evidence under oath. Let them go and perjur themselves so you can charge them for perjury.”
Mr. Slowe also said a CoI is needed to properly arrive at the facts of the matter, rather than just the Crime Chief presenting what he considers to be facts.
The local transparency watchdog, Transparency Institute Guyana has indicated that there is a need for Mr. Bascom to be allowed to present his allegations to an investigator that he feels comfortable with.
The Police Sergeant has said he wants a Commission of Inquiry to be conducted.