A handwriting expert today (WEDS) told the High Court there was a 'possibility' of widespread forgery at the disputed Tower Hamlets mayoral election.Robert Radley said he had never seen a case in his 37 year career in which up to a quarter of ballot papers displayed a 'particularly distinctive and idiosyncratic form' of X.
Mr Radley said it would have to be 'a very considerable coincidence' for so many voters to make the same 'shaky and laboured' markings on their ballots. He was speaking at a electoral trial in which Mayor Lutfur Rahman, 49, is being investigated over claims he stole the controversial East End election, after local campaigners compiled a vast dossier of evidence against him.
The four petitioners are Tower Hamlets residents Andrew Erlam, Debbie Simone, Azmal Hussein and Angela Moffat.
Today (WED) Mr Radley, an expert in handwriting and the forensic investigation of documents, told the court: 'A case like this to follow through would take weeks'.
His report, submitted to Commissioner Richard Mawrey QC, looked into suspicious 'X' marks, which the petitioners believe prove widespread ballot fraud. Mr Radley individually examined 134 ballot papers - just 0.1548% of the total votes cast.
Despite his small sample size, Mr Radley concluded, 'There is a high percentage of 'X' marks made in a particularly distinctive and idiosyncratic form found particularly within the SG 3 group.
'For these marks to have all been completed by different individuals would have to be considered highly coincidental.
'Later, the investigator wrote he had never seen such a case at any other point in his long career.
'Whilst I have found no statistics relating to the way in which individuals produce ballot paper 'X' marks, I have examined many hundreds of ballot papers in a variety of cases over the last 37 years.
'I do not recall this particular feature in such quantities in previous cases especially when one considers that this feature is found in approximately 25% of the ballot papers for one ward in this particular case.
'For this to happen by chance would, in my opinion, have to be a very considerable coincidence.
'A further notable point with regard to these marks…is that virtually all of them show shaky and laboured 'X' marks albeit the writer is capable of very fluent writing for their relatively complex signatures.
'One might therefore expect a writer with the ability to wield the pen with skill and penmanship in a signature production to be able to make fluently executed and basic "X" marks, contrary to what is noted in many examples in this case
.'If Commissioner Mawrey finds allegations of corruption proved, he has the power to declare the election void.Mayor Rahman denies any wrongdoing.
The trial continues and is scheduled to end next Friday. A judgment is not expected before Easter.
See more at: http://www.courtnewsuk.co.uk/?news_id=40180#
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