Sep 26, 2020 News
Over 100 witnesses are expected to testify against Region Four Returning Officer (RO), Clairmont Mingo, when the trial begins for the misconduct in public office charges.
The accused along with his lawyer Nigel Hughes made their second appearance yesterday in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before the Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.
When the matter was called, prosecutor Tariq Mohamed from the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) informed the court that the prosecution will be making partial disclosure of statements. Prosecutor Mohamed also made an application for summary disposal of the charges that would allow Mingo to plea to the charges since they would no longer be indictable. However, an objection was made by Hughes, on the grounds of the possibility of more charges being made against his client.
The court then learnt that the file is incomplete, and Prosecutor Mohamed added that he is unable to answer Hughes question; he however informed the court that he will be calling over 100 witnesses to testify against Mingo. After listening to the attorney and the prosecutor, Chief Magistrate McLennan adjourned the matter to December 15, 2020, for full disclosure of the statements.
On August 30, 2020, Mingo made his first court appearance where he was slapped with multiple electoral fraud charges and was released on $600,000, bail. He was arraigned before Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan, in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
Mingo was not required to plead to the indictable offence which stated that on March 5, 2020, and March 13, 2020, at High and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown, while being a Public Officer, that is to say the RO of Region Four for the March 2, 2020, Regional and General Elections, he declared a result without ascertaining the total number of votes which resulted in him willingly misconducting himself without any reasonable excuse or justification. The GECOM official was required to lodge his passport and ordered to report to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters in Georgetown every Friday until the completion of the trial.
On August 25, 2020, Mingo was arrested by police at his Calcutta, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara home. This was after a probe was launched to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the formal reports that were made alleging criminal activities by Mingo and other GECOM officials as it relates to the March 2 elections and the events that followed.
He is also before another court facing a joint electoral fraud charge, with former Health Minister and PNC/R Chairperson, Ms. Volda Lawrence. They were not required to plead to the charge of conspiracy to commit fraud.
The charge stated that Mingo, having been procured by Lawrence on or about March 5, 2020, at the Command Centre for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on High and Hadfield Streets, uttered to the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, the election results for Region Four, knowing it to be forged, with intent to defraud the people of Guyana.
They are expected to make their next appearance on November 16, 2020, for that charge.
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