Volda Lawrence, Chairperson of the People’s National Congress –the leading party in the APNU+AFC Coalition, was on Monday placed on $100,000 bail in relation to a private criminal charge filed against her for the fraudulent elections declaration of March 5th.
The charge alleging forgery was filed against her and Returning Officer for District Four Clairmont Mingo since their signatures were found on the declaration; a national vote recount found that the numbers were inflated in favour of the Coalition.
The former Health Minister made her first court appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court with her Lawyer Attorney Nigel Hughes and others.
According to Hughes, the charge read that she procured Mingo on March 5th to issue a forged document –the elections declaration for District Four –to the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield.
Hughes said though the document was filed since March, his client was never served.
“Absolutely no attempt was made to serve this document to Ms. Lawrence. As a matter of fact, the only basis upon which she has appeared today was because last week when I was in court, I heard her name call and I notified her and she said that [she] will come in immediately,” the Attorney said.
He told reporters that an application was filed for Lawrence to be released on self-bail since she voluntarily appeared in court but this was refused and the court placed her on $100,000 bail.
A large crowd gathered outside of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court chanting “Free Volda.”
Upon exiting the court, the former Health Minister who in the past had asked for persons to desist from gathering in large numbers to stop the spread of COVID-19, thanked her supporters for showing up.
“…I want to thank all of my supporters who are here and those who are not here,” she said.
Lawrence added that the charges were “trumped up.”
“I have committed no crime, absolutely nothing that I have been accused of.”
The charge was filed by PPP/C member and current Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson, Jnr. on March 16.
Mingo who is the second defendant in the case was not served and therefore did not appear in court.
Ramson is represented by Attorney Glenn Hanoman.
Additionally, Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield also made his fourth appearance in court on Monday to answer to private criminal charges of fraud filed against him but that case did not progress as a result of a police investigation launched into that matter.
Both cases will be called again on September 11.