Lowenfield trial set for November

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Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield

– prosecution fails to present witness statements on time

Once again, prosecutors in the private criminal charges brought against Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield have asked for more time to get their evidence together but, even so, Lowenfield is expected to go to trial in November. On Friday, prosecutors were expected to hand over statements from witnesses which they wish to call in their case against the CEO but they were unable to do so.

Senior Counsel Neil Boston

Speaking outside of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, one of Lowenfield’s attorneys, Senior Counsel Neil Boston said: “[Today was fixed] for further disclosure where the prosecution would have laid over statements of witnesses that they wished to call to establish the charges against Lowenfield but they were not up to it today. They never made any disclosures, all they kept saying is that the DPP has made up her mind to do what? We do not know.”

The prosecution has asked for two additional weeks to supply these statements which was granted by the Court for October 23, 2020. Witness statements were expected to be supplied by lawyers representing People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member, Desmond Morian, and General Secretary of The New Movement (TNM), Daniel Kanhai based on private criminal charges brought against the CEO for alleged fraud, misconduct and breach of public trust.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing the CEO are still waiting to hear whether the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack will be taking over the charges. Some criticism has come to DPP from the Opposition who claims that she continues to rescue prosecutors with insufficient evidence in recent cases relating to the 2020 General and Regional Elections.

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Nigel Hughes, another one of Lowenfield’s lawyer had written the DPP requesting that the charges against Lowenfield, similar to the ones laid against the Elections Commission Chair, Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh, be dropped just a Singh’s were. However, the DPP has not responded.

“The DPP has not written to them [the prosecution] setting out what she has in mind but they are of the view that she may do so by the next disclosure date,” Boston said. “All she’s saying is that she’s looking at the statements and then she’ll make a decision.”

After the next fixed date for further disclosure [October 23], Morian’s charges against Lowenfield will begin trial on November 13, 2020 and Kanhai’s charge against Lowenfield will begin trial on November 20, 2020.

“I think it’s politically directed,” Boston said. “The whole idea behind these charges is to remove Lowenfield from GECOM, it’s only a question of time. If the DPP takes over we will see interdiction pending the hearing and determination of the matter.”

Since the breakdown in the tabulation of Region Four Statements of Poll (SOPs) in early March 2020, members of current Government have pointed fingers in several directions, one of which was Lowenfield’s.

The particulars of the offence as sworn to oath by Morian states: “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…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 Office of the Guyana Elections Commission.”

Meanwhile, the particulars of the offence as sworn to oath by Kanhai state: “The accused, between the 5th day of March 2020 and 23rd day of June 2020…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.”



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