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GUYANA | Chief Elections Officer Lowenfield arrested again

  • Written by Wiredja.com- Calvin G. Brown
  • Published in Justice
Featured Chief Elections Officer of the Guytana Elections Commission, Keith Lowenfield Chief Elections Officer of the Guytana Elections Commission, Keith Lowenfield
GEORGETOWN,  Guyana, September 27, 2020 – Against the background of an election petition challenge filed by the Opposition APNU/AFC Coalition, and the need for the government to position the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission as a tainted witness when the matter comes to trial, CEO Keith Lowenfield was again arrested on Saturday.
C.A.Nigel Hughes 350x350
Attorney-at-law- C. A. Nigel Hughes

According to the government, Lowenfield’s arrest was part of an ongoing probe into alleged electoral fraud in the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections. However, the police said he chose to remain silent and was released on station bail.

A statement from one of his attorneys, Mr. C. A. Nigel Hughes,  said "during the course of the interview the investigating officers invited a PPP female party activist and polling agent to confront Mr. Lowenfield on her analysis of the elections results.

The rest of the interview consisted of inquiries in relation to matter which are currently before the Court, he said.

Mr. Hughes pointed out that "the arrest of Mr. Lowenfield and the  institution of new criminal charge by the State are clearly intended to have an impact on any testimony which Mr. Lowenfield may provide in the Election petition cases."

The attorney intimated that "the unambiguous intention is to have [Lowenfield] classified as a tainted witness at the time of any possible testimony in the conduct of the Election Petition cases."

He advised that  "Mr. Lowenfield continues to assert his innocence, in addition, his client "has always been responsive to any investigation conducted by the Guyana Police force and will remain available to be interviewed in any ongoing investigation.

Investigators said Mr. Lowenfield’s arrest was part of “continuing” investigations into alleged electoral fraud, and is facing criminal charges for alleged misconduct in public office and alleged fraud.

The Chief Elections Officer was released on station bail on the “condition that he reports to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID ) Headquarters on September 28, 2020.

Desmond Morian PPP 300x291
PPP Member Desmond Morian

Back in July, Lowenfield was arrested and taken to court to answer three private criminal charges brought against him by the Peoples Progressive Party for alleged fraud and misconduct. He was not required to enter a plea to the charges and was released on $450,000 bail.

On advice of the DPP, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) launched a “comprehensive” investigation into the allegations of election fraud.

When the Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield appeared in Court on August 24 for the continuation of the matter, there was no representative from the DPP’s Chambers.

However, the Attorneys representing the agents of the PPP and The New Movement party who filed the private charges, told the Court that the DPP should be in receipt of new evidence and statements related to the case.

Mr. Lowenfield’s Attorneys, had asked the DPP to withdraw the charges against him.

The presiding Magistrate pushed the case back to the 11th September, hoping that by that date, there will be some clear indication on the way forward from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

On September 11, when Lowenfield and his lawyers returned to court, there was again no representative from the DPP’s office in Court and the DPP had not made any recent pronouncement regarding the matter.

Josh Kanhai NMP 300x296
New Movement party’s Josh Kanhai

The case which stemmed from private criminal charges filed by a representative of the PPP and The New Movement Party is being prosecuted by their Attorney Glen Hanoman who requested more time to file additional statements in the case.

Hanoman claimed he would be filing hundreds of statements in the matter, however he only filed only three statements and requested a one month adjournment.

The PPP’s case arising from the charges filed PPP Member Desmond Morian against the Chief Election Officer has been adjourned until October 26, while trial into charges laid by the New Movement party’s Josh Kanhai is expected to commence on October 27. 

Kanhai who was the New Movement’s candidate, accused the Chief Election Officer of allegedly conspiring with others unknown to commit fraud to alter the results of the elections.

Kanhai’s contention is that 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, Lowenfield 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 Private Charges against the Chief Election Officer were filed on the eve of the Caribbean Court of Justice hearing arguments in the case taken before it by the People’s Progressive Party.

In the compilation of his final election report, Lowenfield explained that he was guided by the Appeal Court’s decision in coming up with the result showing the valid and credible votes that were cast in the elections. He has defended his decision.

The APNU+AFC coalition sought leave from the High Court on August 27, to file an elections petition challenging the results of the 2020 General and Regional Elections.

The application was made by Attorney Roysdale Forde on behalf of applicants, Claudette Thorne and Heston Bostwick.

When asked the basis of the petition, Chairman of the Alliance for Change (AFC) Raphael Trotman, speaking at a press conference said all the allegations of procedural errors and fraudulent acts made during the National Recount will be revisited within the Court.

 “We have the actual observation reports, we have eyewitness reports for persons who were present…it is expected that we would have covered most of the ground in terms of where the discrepancies and illegalities lie and the question would then be for the court, whether these are sufficient…on both a qualitative and quantitative basis to overturn the elections…these are all matters that will form part of the petition,” he explained.

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Last modified onSunday, 27 September 2020 14:42
  • Countries: Guyana