12 Dec 2013

Five found guilty in electoral fraud case

9:18 pm on 12 December 2013

Five of the seven men on trial for electoral fraud in Auckland have been found guilty by a High Court jury.

Daljit Singh, a senior Sikh leader and Justice of the Peace, stood unsuccessfully for a seat on the Otara-Papatoetoe local board in 2010.

The jury at the High Court in Auckland heard from 200 witnesses and more than 1500 pages of evidence during the eight-week trial and have been considering 51 verdicts since 6 December.

Singh and six others were accused of sending the personal details of 116 people to electoral authorities and registering them to the area where he was standing.

The men sought out the details of people they knew and filled out forms for people living in Timaru, Tauranga and India.

On Thursday, Daljit Singh was found guilty of two counts of the 20 he faced for forgery.

Gurinder Atwal was found guilty of 13 counts of forgery, while Malkeet Singh was found guilty of six.

Two others were found guilty of one count, while the remaining two were found not guilty.

The five men convicted have been granted bail until sentencing in February next year.

The court was full with their supporters, including Jaswinder Nagra who later described Daljit Singh as a good leader. Mr Nagra said the community wasn't expecting him to be found guilty and is shocked.