Volda, Mingo and others served with SOPs, SORs; trial deferred to December

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Several boxes containing certified copies of Statements of Polls (SOPs) and Statements of Recount (SORs) from the March 2020 elections were on Monday transported to the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court where it was handed over to seven persons accused of colluding to change the results of those elections.

Attorney Darshan Ramdhani, QC, who is representing the state, served the court and the defendants with the SOPs and SORs, along with other statements and video evidence, which will be used during the trial.

Ramdhani, while addressing the Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, explained that the boxes contained SOPs and SORs from all of the 10 regions.

He further explained that voluminous documents had to be transported to the court in a truck due to its size. Additionally, Ramdhani said that the scanned documents can be uploaded to flash drives to ease the paper load.

Clairmont Mingo (left) and Volda Lawrence

The Chief Magistrate adjourned the case until December 17 at 10:00hrs for report and fixture of a date for case management hearing.

Those charged for electoral fraud are Chairman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R), Volda Lawrence along with embattled Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo and APNU+AFC member Carol Smith-Joseph. This trio is being represented by attorney Nigel Hughes.

The four other Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) staffers who allegedly conspired include Registration Clerks, Shefern February; Michelle Miller; Denise Babb – Cummings and Information Technology Officer, Enrique Livan.

They are all accused of inflating the results of Region Four– Guyana’s largest voting district– to give the APNU+AFC Coalition a majority win at the polls when in fact, the PPP/C had won by 15,000 votes.

This resulted in several legal challenges, which ended up before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – Guyana’s highest appeal court – and a five-month delay in the declaration of the results.

A lengthy recount of the votes eventually declared victory to the PPP/C and Dr. Irfaan Ali was sworn in as the President of Guyana.

Soon after, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, S.C, had granted a fiat to a six-member team of prominent lawyers to prosecute the matters on behalf of the State.

They include Ramdhani, Glenn Hanoman, Mark Conway, Ganesh Hira, Arudranauth Gossai and George Thomas.

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