Lawrence, Mingo & Joseph return to court on electoral fraud charges

L-R: Carol Joseph, Volda Lawrence and Clairmont Mingo

PNC/R Chairperson, Volda Lawrence along with embattled Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo and Elections Agent for the APNU/AFC, Carol Joseph this morning made another appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

The trio have been charged individually and jointly for forgery and conspiracy to commit to defraud in relation to the events that followed the March 2, 2020 General and Regional elections.

At today’s hearing, the prosecution presented the fiat for permission from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to prosecute these matters.

However, Attorney-at-Law Ronald Daniels told reporters that following the hearing, there were some issues with the document that have to be corrected.

“The court observed that the fiat did not spell out in particular the different offences by way of the case jackets and case jacket numbers that the DPP was granting permission to the prosecutors to prosecute. So, the court invited that that be corrected before the prosecutors have any jurisdiction in the court,” he related.

Daniels added that the prosecutors had invited the court to hear the matters summarily, that is, to have the matters disposed of in the Magistrates’ Court. But he noted that the Court did not entertain this request since the prosecutors, who appear does not have jurisdiction as yet.

Meanwhile, Attorney Daniels also reiterated concerns over Member of Parliament for the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic, Attorney Sanjeev Datadin, being appointed one of the special prosecutors in this matter.

This issue was first raised last week by Attorney Nigel Hughes.

“So, once the fiat is corrected and Mr. Datadin is named as a prosecutor for the DPP’s office, we would be taking that objection naturally,” Daniels indicated.

However, Datadin had dismissed the objections against him being a prosecutor, saying last week they have no merit. He had pointed out that there are five other prosecutors listed as well hence “the risks that they are complaining of is really nothing.”

The matters have been adjourned to December 21.