Guyana: Lowenfield’s case postponed as DPP to decide whether to drop charges

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( – The case filed against the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield has been postponed until August 24, 2020, as lawyers are awaiting a decision from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack on whether she will agree with submissions made by counsel to drop the charges against him.

Lowenfield’s lawyer Nigel Hughes had written the DPP asking for the private criminal charges to be dropped in accordance with the same courtesies extended to the Chairperson of GECOM Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh.

It was the DPP who recently decided to drop all charges against Singh.

Lowenfield made his second appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on Friday before Magistrate Faith McGusty where lawyers representing the applicants were expected to present their statements.

But Attorney Sanjeev Datadin, who is one of the Lawyers representing the applicants noted that it “will be imprudent to go ahead” with the disclosure of statements when it is unclear whether the case will continue.

He told the News Room that the DPP has since asked his team to submit their file following which she will make a decision.

The charges against Lowenfield were filed on June 30 by People’s Progressive Party (PPP) member Desmond Morian and Member of The New Movement, Daniel Josh Kanhai relating to fraud, misconduct in office and breach of the public’s trust by providing results of the March 2 elections which he knows to be false.

Lowenfield first appeared in court on July 24 where he was granted $450,000 bail; $150,000 bail on each charge.

In charges filed against the CEO, it is alleged that between March 5, 2020, and June 23, 2020, Lowenfield conspired with person (s) unknown to commit a common law Fraud, “to wit, by presenting to the Guyana Elections Commission, the tables attached to his Elections Report dated 14th day of March 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 tabulation to be false.”

“The Accused between 5th March 2020 and 29th June 2020 while performing his duty as the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission, without lawful excuse or justification, willfully misconducted himself at Georgetown…a place within the Georgetown Magisterial District by ascertaining results of the 2nd March 2020, General and Regional Elections for Guyana knowing the said results to be false, the said willful misconduct amounting to a breach of the public’s trust in the Office of the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission,” the court document stated.

Lowenfield came under scrutiny for preparing his elections report on March 5 which shows a victory for the incumbent APNU+AFC Coalition based on fraudulent and inflated figures provided 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 PPP has maintained that Lowenfield knew the true winner the elections since he would have in his possession GECOM’s Statements of Poll (SOPs).

As a result of Mingo’s fraud, GECOM embarked on the national vote recount following which Lowenfield in his summary provided a table which revealed the totals for the ten electoral districts which were signed off by GECOM’s own staff as being valid; when added up, Lowenfield’s report shows the PPP winning the elections by 15, 416 votes.

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