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GUYANA | Confusion reigns: Why is GECOM's Deputy Chief Election Officer is in Jail?

  • Written by Wiredja.com- Calvin G. Brown
  • Published in Politics
Featured Deputy Chief Election Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission, GECOM, Ms. Roxanne Prince Myers Deputy Chief Election Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission, GECOM, Ms. Roxanne Prince Myers
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, October 7, 2020 – There are conflicting accounts as to what charges were laid against GECOM’s  Deputy Chief Election Officer Roxanne Myers on Tuesday evening when she was locked up at the Beterverwaghting Police station.
C.A.Nigel Hughes 350x350
Attorney-at-law, C. A. Nigel Hughes

Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes maintained that Ms. Myers was arrested for alleged “obstruction of a police investigation because she exercised her right to silence” and has challenged police to prove him wrong.

However, the Guyana Police Force stated that the GECOM Deputy Chief Election Officer was arrested and kept in custody for conspiracy to defraud and not for refusing to answer questions.

Myers’ attorneys Nigel Hughes and Ronald Daniels disputes the Police Force’s claim that the arrest had nothing to do with the DCEO Roxanne Myers invoking her right to remain silent, and have provided audio and video transcripts to support their claim.

“I stand by all the statements I previously made and invite the Guyana Police Force to release the contents of the Station Diary at the CID HQ  (Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters ) which records the arrest of Ms Myers at 12.30 for the offence of perverting the court of justice as entry number 3 recorded on the 6th day of October 2020,” Hughes declared.

Daniels produced a “substantively verbatim” account of an interview between Assistant Superintendent Mitchell Caesar in which he told Myers on Tuesday that “the police need those documents to conduct an investigation. Your holding those documents could cause you to be charged for obstructing an investigation.” Those documents were Statements of Poll for the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

The Guyana Police Force, in refuting Hughes’ account, said Ms Myers was arrested on October 6, 2020 after she turned herself in the company of her lawyers. “Further, Ms. Myers was promptly arrested for the offence of “conspiracy to defraud” and she was told of the allegation at the said time. She then exercised her right to remain silent,” police said.

The transcript shows several questions regarding the March elections and Ms. Myers’ job at the Elections Commission being asked. At the end of each question, Ms. Myers invoked her right to remain silent.

 At the beginning of the interview, Daniels said he inquired from the Police investigator whether his client was being treated as a suspect in the commission of any crime. He said it was made clear by Mr. Caesar that she was not a suspect.

She was asked more than 10 questions and on every occasion, she reserved her right to remain silent.

The transcript quotes Assistant Superintendent Caesar as eventually telling the Deputy Chief Election Officer than she was perverting the course of justice and was therefore taken into custody where she remains this evening.

The following is the full text of the press release and the transcript provided by Ms Myers’ attorneys outlining the questions asked by Asst. Supt. Mitchell Caesar and Inspector Nigel Stephens.

I have read what purports to be a press release from the Guyana Police Force dated October 7, 2020 and which release is titled, “Police Statement Regarding Arrest of Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Ms. Roxanne Myers.”

Might I state categorically that the narration of the police of the events subsequent to Ms. Myers voluntarily attending the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Eve Leary, is a radical, deliberate, and unfortunate departure from the truth. I remained at CID with Ms. Myers after Mr. Hughes was required to return to the Criminal Assizes. I sat through the police interview with Ms. Myers and remained at the CID up until Ms. Myers was being put into the police van to be taken to the Beterverwagting Police Station.

The interview was captured on video and my narration of the events, as they actually unfolded, can be corroborated by the video recording, pre-supposing that the integrity of the video recording is preserved.

The interview was conducted by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr. Caesar, Head of Major Crimes Unit, who introduced himself in these terms. He introduced Inspector Nigel Stephens as his scribe and Corporal Desmond Johnny as the operator of the video equipment. The interview commenced at 12:07 p.m. This time was relayed to me by ASP Caesar.

Screen Shot 2020 10 07 at 21.15.32
GECOM’s Deputy Chief Election Officer Roxanne Myers

I inquired from ASP Caesar at the outset whether Ms. Myers was being treated as a suspect in the commission of any offence. He explicitly responded that she was not a suspect. Mr. Caesar then asked Ms. Myers if she would mind removing her mask briefly to permit the camera to capture her face. He made it clear that this was not compulsory. Ms. Myers politely declined observing that she is sensitive to the Covid-19 risk and wanted to avert any risk.

What follows is a substantively verbatim record of the questions ASP Caesar asked Ms. Myers and her responses:Mr. Caesar: Ms. Myers, are you employed by GECOM?

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.Mr. Caesar: Ms. Myers, are you Deputy CEO of GECOM?

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.

Mr. Caesar: Ms. Myers, are you, were you a part of the staff that worked during the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections?

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.

Mr. Caesar: Ms. Myers, is your office located at Barack and Fourth Streets Kingston, Georgetown?

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.

Mr. Caesar: Ms. Myers, could you please state your present address.

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.

Mr. Caesar: Ms. Myers, do you have any supervisory control over the… of GECOM Headquarters.

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.

Mr. Caesar: An interview was done with Mr. Keith Lowenfield. Do you know Mr. Lowenfield?

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.

Mr. Caesar: In that interview Mr. Lowenfield was asked for certified copies of the SOP used to make two (2) declarations in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections. He said he was on leave and we must ask you for those documents. Are you in possession of those documents?

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.

Mr. Caesar: Ms. Myers, the police need those documents to conduct an investigation. Your holding those documents could cause you to be charged for obstructing an investigation.

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.

*Insp. Stephens intervened at this time to clarify with Mr. Caesar whether the documents he is referring to are the SOPs.

Mr. Caesar: Ms. Myers, when last you went to work at GECOM office at Barack and Fourth Street?

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.

Mr. Caesar: Ms. Myers, are you living at the address on the record at GECOM office for you?

Ms. Myers: I reserve my right to remain silent.

**Mr. Caesar then indicated that was the end of the interview unless Mr. Stephens wanted to ask anything further. Mr. Caesar, especially, was visibly frustrated by Ms. Myers responses. Mr. Stephens signalled to Mr. Caesar for them to speak outside. They asked for an excuse. They returned to the room a few short minutes after.

When they returned to the room Mr. Caesar said as follows:

Mr. Caesar: Counsel, I will now have to put an allegation to your client for perverting the course of justice.

Mr. Caesar: Ms. Myers: It is alleged that you are perverting the course of justice and as such you will be placed in custody. During the course of the investigations we will have persons to confront you with.

Mr. Caesar then invited Ms. Myers to exit the room where he placed her in the custody of Women Inspectors Castello and McBean whom he instructed to book her and take her to Beterverwagting Police Station.

I maintain that at no time did ASP Caesar, Insp. Stephens, or any other police officer, on or off camera, put the allegation of ‘conspiracy to defraud’ to Ms. Myers.

Ronald J. Daniels
Senior Associate
Attorney-at-Law
Hughes, Fields & Stoby

Last modified onThursday, 08 October 2020 18:23
  • Countries: Guyana