Electoral fraud cases: “Ton of evidence” to be presented next month – Special Prosecutor

– recommends dedicated court handles electoral cases

Top row, from left – Volda Lawrence, Keith Lowenfield, Denise Babb-Cummings, and Michelle Miller. Bottom row, from left – Enrique Livan, Sheffern February, Clairmont Mingo, and Carol Smith-Joseph

It has been over three years since the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections, but Special Prosecutor and Queen’s Counsel Darshan Ramdhani is assuring that the prosecution has a ton of evidence to present in the electoral fraud court cases.
During a recent broadcast interview, Queen’s Counsel Darhsan Ramdhani explained that his team will be ready when the case returns to court in October.
“When we go in October to the court, we’re also going to say that we’re at the stage of readiness. And we’re hoping that the court will deal with any other preliminary issues that can arise, very quickly. So that we can set dates when we’ll take the first witness. So that’s where we stand,” Ramdhani said.

Special Prosecutor and Queen’s Counsel Darshan Ramdhani

Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) clerks – Denise Babb-Cummings and Michelle Miller; GECOM Elections Officer Sheffern February; and the electoral body’s Information Technology Officer Enrique Livan along with Opposition member Carol Smith-Joseph, were all charged back in 2020, for attempting to rig the March 2020 election in favour of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC).
“The prosecution has a ton of evidence to lead. We have the Statements of the Poll, and the certified copies. We have the videotapes. We have the witnesses on ready,” the Special Prosecutor explained.
“And we know the courts have been trying their best to deal with these matters as judicially as possible. The matters are currently before (Senior) Magistrate (Leron) Daly. And we’re going to get on with it. And hopefully bring this saga to an end, one way or another.”
However, Ramdhani is more than cognisant of the time it has taken these cases to conclude, since the first charge was laid in August 2020. His recommendations include assigning a particular Magistrate to handle the electoral fraud cases. According to him, he has made these recommendations before.
“We had made these submissions to the Chief Magistrate, that a Magistrate should be assigned to deal with these matters. If it’s Magistrate Daly, so be it. We’re not asking for a particular Magistrate. But it must be a court, we suggest, that is dedicated to this matter. In other words, it mustn’t be adjourned because you have to deal with other matters.”
“When we start… this is one suggestion. We don’t have to do it every day, but we can do three-four full days. Lead the evidence. Present the evidence. Come back next week. Three days. So… this, perhaps, is the approach. I can’t tell the court how to do it. But I can make recommendations,” the Special Prosecutor said.
Some of the highest profile persons charged with electoral fraud include the former Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, his former Deputy, Roxanne Myers, Volda Lawrence and former Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo.
A Commission of Inquiry into the events surrounding the controversial 2020 elections has already concluded its work. Among other things, the Inquiry implicated a number of individuals in acts of wrongdoings during the five-month-long period.
The findings of the report all point to brazen attempts to derail the elections, shining a spotlight on the actions of GECOM staff themselves.
During the public hearings of the CoI that commenced on November 3, 2022, several witnesses took the stand including politicians, staff of GECOM, ranks from the Guyana Police Force, and other stakeholders such as local observers. However, the key players accused of attempts to rig elections had refused to testify when they were summoned before the Commission… including Mingo, Lowenfield, and Myers.