Coalition supporters in Berbice charged with breaching COVID-19 restriction

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Six supporters of the A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) were charged with breaching the COVID-19 restriction by staging a protest action last week.

They appeared before Magistrate Peter Hugh at the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Those charged include Director of Regional Health Services Jevaughn Stephen, Former Member of Parliament Barbara Pilgrim, Executive of the Regional Arm of the PNC, Kirk Fraser along with Karen France, Pollyann Schultz, Karen France and Kwesi Joseph.

They were all charged with attending a social event in contravention of Number 2 (1) (A) of the COVID-19 emergency measures; they were represented by Attorney -at -Law James Bond who said the Police falsified evidence against three of his clients.

The event was a protest action against the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on June 18.

Some of the Coalition supporters outside the court house [Photo: News Room/June 25, 2020]
Stephen, however, made it clear he was not at the protest which took place at the Princess Elizabeth Road in New Amsterdam.

Bond also told the media his client Joseph was not present at the event and Pilgrim, who was accused of organizing the protest, also denied.

The trio pleaded not guilty and was placed on $10,000 bail. They will re-appear in Court on July 13, 2020.

“The Police maliciously and deliberately falsified evidence to show Mr Stephen and Mr Joseph were present. They were not present and they said Ms Pilgrim hosted the event, she was not the host of the event,” Bond argued.

Schultz, Fraser and France who were present at the protest on the day in question pleaded guilty to the offence and were fined $10,000.

Over 100 Coalition supporters took to the streets of New Amsterdam, Berbice on June 18 with placards as they protested the decision of GECOM to use the figures from the national recount to declare a winner of the March 2020 elections.

During the hearing on Thursday morning, a small number of supporters were present outside of the courthouse in support and were heard urging those charged not to speak with the media.

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