SOCU summons APNU+AFC’s Carol Smith-Joseph
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Carol Smith-Joseph
Carol Smith-Joseph

CHIEF Scrutineer of the APNU+AFC, Carol Smith-Joseph was on Friday summoned to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), Camp Street, Georgetown.

No details have emerged regarding the reason for her visit to SOCU headquarters, but currently Joseph is facing charges of electoral fraud along with former District Four (Demerara-Mahaica) Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo; former People’s National Congress/Reform Chairperson, Volda Lawrence; and four others.

The trio, along with Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) employees Sherfern February, Enrique Livan, Denise Bobb-Cummings and Michelle Miller, are before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court for allegedly defrauding the electors of Guyana by declaring a false account of votes for the 2020 elections.

A team of special prosecutors comprising attorneys-at-law Darshan Ramdhani, QC; Glenn Hanoman, Mark Conway, Ganesh Hira, Arudranauth Gossai, and George Thomas are on record for the state.

Attorneys-at-law Nigel Hughes, Eusi Anderson, Ronald Daniels and Konyo Sandiford are on record for the defendants.

In October 2021, the state handed over certified copies of Statements of Poll (SoPs) and Statements of Recount (SoRs) to the seven accused who are facing multiple 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 (GREs), knowing same to be forged.

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

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.

Mingo, Lawrence and Smith-Joseph were each released on $100,000 bail.

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

In August 2021, Mingo, along with Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield and his deputy, Roxanne Myers, had their employment terminated by the commission.

Lowenfield and Myers have also been charged with electoral fraud and are also before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

Many of these allegations are resurfacing as the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the 2020 elections progresses.

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