Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Top cop: Bassant may have invited trouble


Acting commissioner: Stephen Williams

Mark Fraser

 Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said yesterday death threats against CCN Senior Investigative Journalist Mark Bassant may have been as a result of Bassant’s own wrongdoing. 

In an interview on i95.5FM, Williams said: “Firstly I would like to confirm that a report was made by Mr Mark Bassant to the head of the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit based on what he alleges is a threat against his life. That matter is being investigated right now.”

He later added that, “there were a lot of statements and utterances made by Mr Bassant which have been very irresponsible on his part on things which are incorrect, which I know as a fact are incorrect which I can just put in the public domain, based on the office I hold and the access to information I have. And some of that, I believe, may have triggered the issue of a threat being made against Mr Mark Bassant.”

Despite this, the acting Commissioner noted that the TTPS has a responsibility to protect every citizen of this country. 

“Any threat against any citizen of this land is a serious matter and we (the TTPS) take it seriously and pursue it vigorously, and I can tell you the unit is treating it with utmost level of responsibility,” Williams said. 

When asked about any other names on a “hit list” as reported by Bassant previously this week, Williams said he was unaware “of what he was speaking about”.

When asked about “errant officers” who may have been giving criminal elements information on Bassant, Williams explained that he was not in a position to deny the allegations, but he also noted situations like those were complicated. 

“It’s clear to me some police officers have been doing wrong by furnishing Bassant with certain information. So when you have these irresponsible police officers who are involved in wrongdoings furnishing Bassant with information, then yes, it is highly possible that those same officers may indeed be furnishing others with information and that is a concern for TTPS and a major concern or me as the leader of the TTPS,” Williams said. 

Earlier this month, Bassant was forced to flee the country after he received reports that death threats had been made against him, and that a hit with a starting price of $20,000 was ordered against him.