Lowenfield likely to face more charges – Crime Chief

Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield at the Georgetown Magistrates' Court after facing charges in relation to electoral fraud
Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court

Embattled Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield is likely to face additional charges over the role he played in the attempts to rig the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections.

The Guyana Police Force is currently conducting a probe after receiving “formal reports” alleging “criminal conduct” by Lowenfield and embattled Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, as well as others, in relation to the elections and the events that followed thereafter.

The CEO is accused of attempting to undermine the will of the people by repeatedly refusing to submit the verified results from the National Recount to Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Retired Justice Claudette Singh, for a final declaration.

Already, several GECOM employees including RO Mingo have been arrested and charged.

On Saturday, Lowenfield was arrested and the allegations of electoral fraud were put to him but he exercised his right to remain silent.

He also opted to remain silent when a confrontation was held with a People’s Progressive Party (PPP) polling agent.

The CEO was eventually released on “substantial” bail and was told to return to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) today.

Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told INews that Lowenfield is likely to be charged following the conclusion of the probe into electoral fraud.

“Mr Lowenfield was placed on substantial bail and has to return to CID headquarters tomorrow (today)… As soon as the investigative process concludes, the police will institute additional charges,” he noted.

Meanwhile, in a statement, one of the CEO’s lawyers, Nigel Hughes, on Sunday said: “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.”

According to the lawyer, “The unambiguous intention is to have him classified as a tainted witness at the time of any possible testimony in the conduct of the election petition cases. Mr. Lowenfield continues to assert his innocence. Mr. Lowenfield has always been responsive to any investigation conducted by the Guyana Police Force and will remain available to be interviewed in any ongoing investigation.”

Even as the police probe is ongoing, Lowenfield is already facing three private criminal charges for conspiracy to commit fraud and breach of trust in public office that were filed by private citizens Desmond Morian and Josh Kanhai, who is a member of The New Movement (TNM) party.

The CEO was arraigned back in July and placed on $450,000 bail.

These matters last came up in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on September 11, when they were adjourned to October for the commencement of trial.