Criminal charges dismissed against GECOM Chair, Commissioners

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The private criminal charges which were filed against Government nominated Commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and its Chairman, were dismissed by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan Friday morning.

The charges were filed against Chairman Rt’d Justice James Patterson along with the Commissioners – Charles Corbin, Vincent Alexander and Desmond Trotman – by Guyanese citizen Marcel Gaskin who accused the four men of “conspiracy to breach the constitution contrary to the common law.

Only Trotman and Justice Patterson appeared in the Magistrate’s Court Friday.

When the matter was called, the Chief Magistrate, after perusing the charge said that the allegation does not create an offence and appears to be frivolous.

The Chief Magistrate did not read the charge.

The complaint alleges that during the period December 22, 2018, to March 9, 2019, the defendants conspired to breach Article 106 of the Constitution of Guyana which provided for the holding of General Elections in Guyana within three months from the 21st December 2018

“It borders [as] vexatious and an abuse of the court,” the Chief Magistrate said.

Government nominated Commissioners Desmond Trotman, Vincent Alexander and Charles Corbin [Photo taken from Guyana Times]
Attorneys-at-law Sanjeev Datadin and Ganesh Hira appeared as Special Prosecutors.

Datadin asked the court for a short leave to go over cases to show common law conspiracy offences.

The defendants were represented by Attorney-at-law Rex McKay, Neil Boston, Robert Corbin and Darren Wade.

Attorney Boston told the court that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the charge.

“They are Mickey Mouse charges,” the lawyer told the court.

As such, the Chief Magistrate did not grant Datadin’s request for an adjournment.

The Chief Magistrate reiterated that she will not consider any arguments and that the charge is an abuse of the court.

As a result of the passage of the December 21 No Confidence motion against the coalition Government, elections are constitutionally due by March 21, unless there is an extension in the National Assembly by a vote of two-thirds of its 65 members.

To date, GECOM continues to claim that it cannot hold elections by that timeline.

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