While police have confirmed that they have received reports of death threats against investigative journalist Mark Bassant and are actively pursuing the case, the acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams says the threats may have been caused by Bassant's own doing.
In a telephone interview with i95 FM yesterday Williams said he was unaware of some of the claims Bassant was making in some of his recent reports, which included updates on the assassination of defence attorney Dana Seetahal, which took place on May 4, and plans to overthrow the Government by a radical religious group.
"There is a lot of statements and utterances which have been very irresponsible of him. Things which are incorrect, which I know as a fact are incorrect, based on the office I hold and my access to information, are incorrect, and some of it might have triggered threats to Mr Mark Bassant," Williams said.Bassant made the claim of threats to his life on Wednesday during TV6's nightly newscast.
He said he had been tipped off by underworld sources that a starting price of $20,000 had been placed on his head as his reports had been "showing up" the criminal elements.The threat first became known to him on May 7, Bassant said during the interview, adding that police officers were also leaking information about him to the criminal underworld. Bassant has since been sent out of the country by his employers.
Contacted for a comment yesterday, head of news at TV6 Dominic Kalipersad said: "We are aware that a report was made of a death threat that may have been triggered by news stories carried by Mr Bassant."