SoRs, SoPs to be handed over to electoral fraud accused
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PNC/R activist Carol Smith-Joseph; former minister, Volda Lawrence, and former Returning Officer for Region Four, Clairmont Mingo
PNC/R activist Carol Smith-Joseph; former minister, Volda Lawrence, and former Returning Officer for Region Four, Clairmont Mingo

A TRUCKLOAD of certified copies of Statements of Poll (SoPs) and Statements of Recount (SoRs), was on Monday presented to the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court and will eventually be distributed to seven of the persons charged with electoral fraud.

Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo; PNC/R Chairperson, Volda Lawrence; Coalition political activist, Carol Smith-Joseph and Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) employees Sherfern February, Enrique Livan, Denise Bobb-Cummings and Michelle Miller are before the court for allegedly defrauding the electors of Guyana by declaring a false account of votes for the 2020 General and Regional Elections.

GECOM staffers, Sherfern February and Enrique Livan

A team of special prosecutors which includes attorneys-at-law Darshan Ramdhani, QC, Glen Hanoman, Mark Conway, Ganesh Hira, Arudranauth Gossai, and George Thomas, is presenting the state’s case. The defendants are being represented by attorneys-at-law Nigel Hughes, Eusi Anderson, Roynald Daniles and Konyo Sandiford.

During his address to the court, Ramdhani said that each defendant along with the court will receive four boxes of SoPs and SoRs for the 10 regions.

He told the court that due to the number of boxes, the evidence had to be transported in a truck to the court. Also, to lessen the paper load and to save time and space, Ramdhani said that documents can be uploaded to a flash drive.

Statements and discs containing video evidence were added to the list of evidence during Monday’s hearing.

The chief magistrate later adjourned the case until December 17, when a date is expected to be fixed for the case management hearing.

Mingo, Lawrence and Smith-Joseph are before the court on fraud-related charges. According to particulars of the first charge, it is alleged that on March 5, 2020, with intent to defraud, Lawrence and Mingo uttered a report purporting to be a true declaration of all votes cast in District Four (Demerara-Mahaica) for the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections, knowing the same to be forged.

It is further alleged that on March 13, 2020, Mingo and Smith-Joseph uttered a forged document purporting to be a true report of all votes cast in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections, knowing that said report was forged.

It is also alleged that on the said date, Smith-Joseph conspired with Mingo and others to declare a fraudulent count of votes for District Four.

They were each released on $100,000 bail.

Additionally, it is alleged that between March 2 and August 2, 2020, at Georgetown, Mingo, conspired with Volda Lawrence, Carol Smith-Joseph, Sherfern February, Enrique Livan, Denise Bobb-Cummings, Michelle Miller and others to defraud the electors of Guyana by declaring a false account of votes for the elections.

Recently, Mingo, along with Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield, and his deputy, Roxanne Myers, had their employment terminated by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). Lowenfield and Myers have similar matters pending in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

It is alleged that they inflated or facilitated the inflation of results for Region Four, the country’s largest voting district, to give the APNU+AFC Coalition a majority win at the polls when, in fact, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) had won by 15,000 votes.

Those who rejected the results filed several legal challenges which ended up before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Guyana’s highest appeal court. A lengthy recount of the votes eventually declared victory in favour of the PPP/C, and Dr. Irfaan Ali was sworn in as the President of Guyana on August 2, 2020.

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