The Guyana Police Force is “categorically” denying allegations that the constitutional rights of the embattled Returning Officer of Region Four Clairmont Mingo were breached when he was arrested on Tuesday afternoon.
A statement from the office of the Commissioner of Police on Thursday also cited the unprofessional conduct of Mingo’s Attorney Darren Wade.
The statement noted that shortly after Mingo arrived at the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department Wade turned up and “demanded an immediate conference with Mingo whom he said was his client.”
It was noted that the Police rank on duty directed the Attorney to a designated area where access to his client would be granted after the rank had completed making the necessary entries in the Police records.
“However, instead of waiting in the area indicated and without any explanation, Mr Wade immediately left the CID Headquarters compound and met with several members of the media on the roadway, where he spoke with them and during which he proceeded to make some false allegations.
“Noteworthy, however, is the fact that after this, the Attorney returned into the CID Headquarters where he met with his client Mr Mingo,” the Police statement noted.
It further stated that the Police Force remains “ready, able and willing to engage with members of the Legal Profession to ensure that their constitutional rights and those persons they represent are respected at all times and that there is due process.”
“In this regard, however, the Police Force expects that Attorneys-at-Law conduct themselves in a professional manner and with a due sense of responsibility in keeping with the ethical standard required of the Legal Profession. Unfortunately, that expected level of professionalism was not evident in this instance.”
The Police Force made it clear that there are designated areas at Police locations which allow for privilege conversations.
“Consequently, member of the the public and of the Legal Profession who engage members of the GPF at any Police location ought to follow the directions of any Police Rank/Ranks on duty as it relates to access to persons in Police custody.”
The Police are continuing its investigations into alleged fraud surrounding the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections as 68-year-old Mingo and three of his assistants remain in Police custody.
The Police Force in a statement Tuesday night named Mingo and his Registration Officer 42-year-old Mikhaila Duncan as the two suspects but Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum confirmed to the News Room on Wednesday that two more employees of GECOM who worked with Mingo on Elections Day were also arrested.
One of Mingo’s attorneys Senior Counsel Roysdale Force told reporters on Tuesday night outside the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) that Mingo’s legal rights were abused by the Police by denying him legal representation during questioning.
“He was provided with no information about why he was removed from his home. He was afforded no explanation. He had to insist to get some idea as to why he is here. I don’t believe that was put to him in any clear way,” Forde had said.
Mingo was arrested at his Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara home on Tuesday in relation to the fraudulent elections declaration of March 5 which has his signature.
The Chief Justice Roxane George had thrown out the declaration, saying the tabulation was not done in accordance with the law.
A national vote recount found that the numbers were inflated in favour of the APNU+AFC Coalition while the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) emerged as the true winner. Mingo remains in the employ of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) but the News Room understands that he has not shown up at the office for months.
A senior functionary at GECOM has since retained the services of Eusi Anderson to legally represent Mingo’s three assistants.