Labour candidate guilty of using forged documents

Daljit Singh had pleaded not guilty to electoral fraud charges relating to the 2010 elections. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Daljit Singh had pleaded not guilty to electoral fraud charges relating to the 2010 elections. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A Labour Party candidate in the first Super City elections has been found guilty of two counts of using forged documents but has been acquitted on the remaining 18 electoral fraud allegations he faced.

Daljit Singh has been on trial in the High Court at Auckland on 20 charges of using forged documents to increase his chances of winning a seat on his local board.

The jury of 11 returned their verdicts this afternoon after deliberating for nearly five days.

Six other men - Gurinder Atwal, Davinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Virender Singh, Paramjit Singh and Malkeet Singh - also stood trial for electoral fraud, but on fewer counts.

Atwal was found guilty of 13 counts of using a forged document, Malkeet Singh was found guilty of six counts, and Virender Sing, Paramjit Singh and Mandeep Singh were each found guilty of one count.

Davinder Singh was found not guilty on the charge he faced, and was acquitted.

Charges against another man, Harmish Singh, were dropped mid-way through the trial and he was discharged.

Justice Mark Woolford remanded all those who were found guilty on bail until sentencing in February.

During the trial, Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey told the court that Daljit Singh falsely changed the addresses of a large number of people on the Electoral Enrolment Centre's website before the 2010 election so they were registered as living within the boundaries of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board.

Most were Sikhs with the surname Singh, or Kaur for the women, and many were unaware their details had been changed.

Mr McCoubrey said the enrolment centre contacted the police when it noticed a large number of names were being registered in the electorate and that forms were being downloaded from computers that had the same IP addresses.

The Crown alleged the seven others helped Daljit Singh, some by providing him with personal details of people who lived outside Auckland.

Singh is a real estate agent, marriage celebrant and licensed immigration adviser.

He is also a spokesman for the New Zealand Sikh Society and convener of the Supreme Sikh Council.

He did not receive enough votes to be elected to the local board, and was arrested in the days before polling closed.

A police investigation was launched after more than 300 people were removed from the electoral roll due to irregularities, and it was reported that 48 were registered as living at one address.

- APNZ

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