– to make court appearance Wednesday
CHAIRPERSON of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R), Volda Lawrence and opposition activist Carol Joseph were, on Tuesday, slapped with electoral fraud charges and are expected to appear before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Lawrence, a former Health Minister, is charged with forgery while Joseph is charged with conspiracy to commit forgery. Both charges stem from the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
The women presented themselves at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Eve Leary and the charges were put to them in the company of their attorney, Nigel Hughes. The duo was later released on their own recognizance.
Last week, Lawrence appeared before Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan, and was released on $100,000 bail for two counts of conspiracy. This was her second court appearance to answer elections fraud charges.
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.
Hughes is the attorney on record for Lawrence in those matters while the state is being represented by prosecutor, Teriq Mohammed from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chambers.
Lawrence made her first court appearance on August 24, 2020 to answer to a private criminal charge and was placed on $100,000 bail by the Chief Magistrate. She was jointly charged with Mingo, who is currently on self-bail for that indictment.
The charge was filed given that their signatures were on the March 5 declaration. A national vote recount subsequently found that the numbers listed in the declaration were inflated in favour of the APNU+AFC.
Mingo is also before the court on several other fraud-related 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 for those matters and the case adjourned to November 16, to allow the prosecution time to complete the filing of statements.
Lawrence and Mingo are among several persons who are before the court charged with various offences pertaining to the March 2 elections.
Two Fridays ago, 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. She appeared before the Chief Magistrate. Hughes and Ronald Daniels are her attorneys.
Additionally, 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