APNU+AFC member slapped with 3 charges of electoral fraud

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-GECOM’s Mingo, PNC/R Chairperson Lawrence placed on bail

APNU+AFC member Carol Smith-Joseph was hauled before the Court today (Wednesday) where she was slapped with three (3) charges in relation to electoral fraud, while Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, and PNC/R Chairperson, Volda Lawrence faced additional charges.

Joseph, who was represented by Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes, made her first Court appearance where she faced two (2) charges of conspiracy to defraud and one (1) count of forgery.

She was granted bail in the sum of $30,000 for each charge, paying a total of $90,000, and released.

The APNU+AFC member had been wanted for questioning by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) in relation to the circumstances surrounding the March 2, 2020, Regional and General Elections and events that followed.

She made her first visit to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in this regard on September 29, 2020.

Joseph was subsequently charged jointly with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) staffer, Clairmont Mingo, who is already facing several other fraud-related charges.

Mingo, had served as the Returning Officer for Region Four during the March 2020 elections, and was also granted $30,000 bail for each charge that he was slapped with. He paid a total of $90,000.

Also appearing at Court today (Wednesday) was PNC/R Chairperson, Volda Lawrence, who is also already before the court on electoral fraud charges. She was charged for forgery and placed on $30,000 bail.

The Prosecution did not object to bail for any of the accused and the case was adjourned to October 28, 2020.

Additionally, Lawrence and Mingo are also before the Court on private criminal charges filed by PPP/C member and present Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jnr. on March 16, this year.

The charge, which alleged forgery, was filed against Lawrence and Mingo in light of their signatures being found on the declaration form for Region Four and a national vote recount determined that the numbers on that form were inflated in favour of the APNU+AFC coalition.

That case comes up on November 16.

Additionally, and also before the courts on similar charges are the GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield, Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Roxanne Myers and other GECOM staff.

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