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Lawrence on $100,000 bail for alleged forgery

Lawrence on $100,000 bail for alleged forgery

FORMER Government Minister and chairperson of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Volda Lawrence, was, on Monday, August 24, 2020, released on $100,000 bail for uttering a forged document to defraud the public in relation to the March 2 elections.

Lawrence appeared before the Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The private criminal charges was also filed against the Returning Officer (RO) for Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Clairmont Mingo. However he was not present in court since he was not served by the police. A summons was issued for him.

Some protesters outside of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court
Some protesters outside of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court

Particulars of the offence stated that Mingo, having been ‘procured’ by the accused Lawrence, on or about March 5, 2020, at Hadfield and High Streets, Georgetown, uttered to the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Keith Lowenfield, a Form 24 Representation of the People Act Regional Elections Election Return, dated March 5, 2020, knowing same to be forged, with intent to defraud the people of the State of Guyana.

The charges alleged that Mingo and Minster Lawrence colluded to forge that Form 24 document. Lawrence’s signature was affixed to the said document, which had shown a win for the A Partnership for National Unity plus the Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC).
Lawrence was represented by attorneys-at-law Nigel Hughes and James Bond. She was released on $100,000 bail and the case was adjourned until September 11, 2020. Evidence in the case will be led by special prosecutor in the case, Glenn Hanoman.

Outside of the court, despite the Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidelines serveral supporters of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) were protesting for the charges to be dropped against Lawrence.
In March, the now Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr, filed criminal charges, contending that Mingo and Lawrence uttered a forged document with the intent to defraud the public, contrary to section 278 of the criminal law Offences Act Chapter 8:01.

Particulars of the offence stated that Mingo, having been ‘procured’ by the accused Lawrence, on or about March 5, 2020, at Hadfield and High Streets, Georgetown, uttered to the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Keith Lowenfield, a Form 24 Representation of the People Act Regional Elections Election Return, dated March 5, 2020, knowing same to be forged, with intent to defraud the people of the State of Guyana.

The charges alleged that Mingo and Minster Lawrence colluded to forge that Form 24 document. Lawrence’s signature was affixed to the said document, which had shown a win for the A Partnership for National Unity plus the Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC).
However, when the PPP/C counted from the SOPs in its possession, it showed otherwise, while the international and local observers deemed the count not credible, and eventually a recount was done which declared PPP/C the winner.

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