Case against Guyana's chief elections officer adjournedSaturday, September 12, 2020
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — The case of fraud against the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield was adjourned yesterday to a later date, while a new charge of conspiracy to commit fraud was laid against Clairmont Mingo, the returning officer for Guyana's largest voting district, as the fallout continues from the disputed March 2 regional and general elections.
Lowenfield appeared in the Georgetown Magistrate's Court but there was a no show from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The parties have been given until October 9 to submit all their documents with the trial expected to begin on October 26.
One of Lowenfield's attorney, Senior Counsel Neil Boston, insists that his client has no case to answer and would be seeking a dismissal when the matter is called.
Lowenfield is facing charges of misconduct in public office, conspiracy to commit a felony, and fraud arising from the country's local and general elections on March 2 that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) said was won by the main Opposition People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) after a national recount had been undertaken and supervised by a three-member Caribbean Community observer team.
Lowenfield was granted bail in the sum of GUY$150,000 on each of the three charges that were filed privately on June 30 by Desmond Morian of the PPP/C and Josh Kanhai of the smaller Opposition, The New Movement party.
Lowenfield is alleged to have interfered with the outcome of the elections even after a court ruling that he formally submit the results obtained from an official national recount.
The impasse was settled in August with the swearing in of former Housing Minister Dr Irfaan Ali of the PPP/C as president.
In the meantime, Mingo appeared before Magistrate Faith McGusty yesterday where another charge related to electoral fraud was read out to him.
He is accused of conspiracy to commit fraud and was not required to plead to the indictable offence. He joins former government minister and the chairperson of the Opposition People's National Congress Reform Volda Lawrence on the charge.
On August 24, Lawrence was placed on GUY$100,000 bail in relation to a private criminal charge filed against her by PPP/C member and current Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr.
Mingo, who is already on GUY$600,000 bail for four other charges related to electoral fraud, was released on self-bail.
His matter has now been adjourned to November 16 to allow the prosecution time to complete the filing of statements.
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