Thursday, January 15, 2009

Conservative Candidate - Ballot Rigging

A Conservative candidate, from Buckinghamshire, who was contesting a marginal seat at the last general election conspired with five other men to 'rig' the result, a court has heard.

Haroon Rashid hoped to win the West Bradford seat by using bogus postal vote applications, Leeds Crown Court was told.
Prosecuting, Mr Gordon Cole QC, told the jury the plan was 'very simple, illegal and dishonest.'

He said: 'Had the conspiracy continued on through to the end, had it been successful, Haroon Rashid may very well have been elected as Member of Parliament and been sitting in the House of Commons.'

Rashid, 38, of Richings Way, Iver, Mohammed Sultan, 51, of Toller Lane, Bradford, Mohammed Rafiq, 68, of Cecil Avenue, Bradford, Reis Khan, 39, of Whetley Hill, Bradford and Jamshed Khan, 64, of Russell Street, Bradford, all deny conspiracy to defraud the electoral registration officer of Bradford City Council.

Another man, Alyas Khan, has admitted the charge, the jury was told.

Mr Cole told the jury the case involved Postal Vote Applications and a conspiracy to submit fraudulent applications.

Mr Cole said the defendants falsely registered individuals to vote on the electoral register, using the names of people who did not live at the addresses to which they were registered.

The plan was to 'harvest' the bogus votes, he added.

He said they hoped to 'rig' the system 'so that Haroon Rashid could and would get elected'

The trial continues

The jury was told the conspiracy failed and the sitting MP was re-elected by just over 3,000 votes.


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