Oct 14, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The matters involving former Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO), Roxanne Myers, in relation to the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections will continue indictably.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, SC, had initiated legal proceedings in the High Court seeking orders to quash Senior Magistrate Leron Daly’s decision to hold a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into the electoral fraud case against Myers.
Yesterday, Justice Franklyn Holder in the Demerara High Court ruled that he did not find that Senior Magistrate Daly acted irrationally when she ruled on the mode of trial that will be used in the matters.
As such, Myers’ matters will continue in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts by the mode of a PI. The charges against Myers allege that between March 4 and 14, 2020, in Georgetown, while being a public officer, she willfully misconducted herself together with Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, and others, to declare a fraudulent account of votes for the March 2020 General and Regional Elections which amounted to a breach of the public’s trust in the office of the DCEO of GECOM. She is currently on $300,000 bail for the two cases.
On February 11, 2021, Magistrate Daly ruled that the two charges for misconduct in public office against Myers will remain indictable which would require her to conduct a PI to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial in the High Court.
Magistrate Daly embarked on holding a PI to determine whether there is enough evidence against Myers for her to face trial in the High Court. The Magistrate had reasoned, inter alia, that the case should not be tried summarily “since the matter is a very serious matter.”
This publication had reported that following the Magistrate’s ruling, the DPP filed legal proceedings. The case was filed on behalf of the DPP through attorneys, Darshan Ramdhani QC, Glenn Hanoman, Ganesh Hira, George Thomas and Mark Conway.
They had requested a declaration that the decision made by Magistrate Daly to hold a PI into the misconduct allegations, engages the provisions of Article 144 of the Constitution with the likely result that the case may not be tried within a reasonable time. It was noted in the case that was filed that Magistrate Daly offends Article 144 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana, which provides that all criminal cases should be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time.
Moreover, the DPP further sought to have a declaration in accordance with the Judicial Review Act that in the circumstances of the charges, and in compliance with the constitution, that the two charges against Myers proceed by way of summary trial.
The DPP also asked that Magistrate Daly reconsider her discretion afresh under Section 61 of the Summary Jurisdiction Procedure Act Cap. 10:02. To support her application, the DPP relied on Article 187 of the Constitution, which she noted gives her office supervision over all criminal matters within Guyana.
Further, the applicant explained that the charge against Myers is classified in criminal procedure as a ‘hybrid offence,’ which can be heard and determined indictable or summary, that is, heard and determined by the Magistrate’s Court.
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