The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali- Hack will be reviewing the case involving Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield, who is accused of electoral fraud.
Earlier this week, Lowenfield’s attorney, Nigel Hughes, wrote to the DPP requesting that the charges against his client be dismissed as they are frivolous.
During his second court appearance this morning, the prosecution informed the court that the file which contains witness statements and other evidence will be dispatched to the DPP for her to review.
Once this is done, the DPP will make a decision on whether there is sufficient evidence to continue the charges against Lowenfield. If the evidence contained therein does not meet the evidential threshold, it is more than likely that the DPP will discontinue the charges. Both parties are expected to return to court on August 24.
Lowenfield was slapped with three private criminal charges regarding the conspiracy to commit fraud and breach of trust in public office.
The charges were filed by Josh Kanhai and Desmond Morian, private citizens.
He has not been allowed to plead to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of $450,000; $150,000 on each charge.
The first charge stated that Lowenfield, between Match 5, 2020 and June 29,2020, while performing duties as the Chief Elections Officer, without lawful excuse or justification, willfully misconducted himself at Georgetown, by ascertaining results of March 2, 2020, General and Regional elections of Guyana knowing the said results to be false.
The charge further stated that the said willful misconduct amounted to a breach of the public’s trust in the office of the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
It was further alleged that between March 5, 2020, and June 23, 2020, at Georgetown, he conspired with person (s) unknown to commit the common law offence of fraud, to wit, by presenting to GECOM, tables attached to his Election Report dated June 23, 2020, accurately reflected the true results of the said election, in order to materially alter the results of the said election, with intent to defraud, knowing the said tabulation to be false.
The last charge stated that between the 5th day of March and 23rd day of June 2020, at Georgetown, in the Georgetown Magisterial District, he conspired with person(s) unknown to commit the common law offence of fraud, to wit, by representing to the Guyana Elections Commission, that tables attached to his Election Report dated 23rd June 2020, accurately reflected the true results of the said election, in order to materially alter the results of the said election, with intent to defraud, knowing the said tabulation to be false.
Lowenfield had submitted to the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (retired) Claudette Singh a table showing what he deems to be “valid and credible votes cast” in the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
In a letter seen by this publication, Lowenfield said that he had taken note of the guidance of the Court of Appeal in the case of Eslyn David v Chief Elections Officer et al in the preparation of his report pursuant to Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act and providing advice as required by Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Guyana.
What the CEO deems as “valid and credible votes cast” had placed the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) party in a 5,482 lead against its nearest political rival, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
The inflated figures for Lowenfield’s reports were taken from a declaration made by Clairmont Mingo, the Returning Officer for Guyana’s largest voting district- Region 4.
The national recount proved that Mingo inflated votes in favour of the Coalition, and it was the PPP that actually won the March 2 elections by over 15,000 votes.
The Chairperson of GECOM, on August 02, 2020, five months after Guyanese went to the polls, declared Irfaan Ali, the ninth executive President, paving the way for a PPP government.
This was only after Lowenfield complied with her instructions and prepared his report using the votes tabulated during the national recount of all ballots.