-gets $100,000 bail
CHAIRPERSON of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R), Volda Lawrence, on Wednesday, appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on two counts of conspiracy to defraud.
Lawrence, a former Health Minister, was released on $100,000 bail by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.
The charges alleged that Lawrence, on March 5, 2020, at High and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown, conspired with GECOM’s Returning Officer for Region Four, Clairmont Mingo and others to declare a fraudulent account of votes for District Four in the March 2 elections.
Lawrence was represented by attorney-at-law, Nigel Hughes while the state was represented by prosecutor, Teriq Mohammed from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chambers.
The Chief Magistrate released Lawrence on $50,000 bail on each count and adjourned the case to December 9.
On Tuesday, Lawrence was released on $100,000 bail after being questioned by Criminal Investigations Department (CID) ranks.
This is her second appearance before the court to answer elections fraud charges.
On August 24, 2020, she was placed on $100,000 bail by Magistrate McLennan in relation to a private criminal charge filed against her for the alleged fraudulent elections declaration of March 5, 2020. She was jointly charged with Mingo, who is currently on self-bail for the indictment.
That charge was filed given that their signatures were on said declaration, and a national vote recount subsequently found that the numbers were inflated in favour of the APNU+AFC.
Mingo is also before the court on several fraud charges, including uttering a forged document with intent to defraud the public, contrary to Section 278 of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act.
He was granted $600,000 bail and the case adjourned to November 16, to allow the prosecution time to complete the filing of statements.
Lawrence and Mingo are among several who are before the court charged with various offences pertaining to the March 2 elections.
On Friday last, Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Roxanne Myers was released on $300,000 bail, after pleading not guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office, when she appeared before the Chief Magistrate. Hughes and Ronald Daniels are her attorneys.
Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, is before the court on three private criminal fraud charges and is expected to go on trial next month.
Magistrate Faith McGusty, who is presiding at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, is hearing those matters which were filed by People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) member, Desmond Morian, and General Secretary of The New Movement (TNM), Daniel Kanhai, on June 30, 2020.
Lowenfield has been accused of presenting elections results with the exact inflated figures in favour of the APNU+AFC. Those same figures were declared by Mingo.
He was not required to plead and was released on $450,000 bail.