Former Derby adviser denies charges following election fraud investigation
A former Derby city councilor appeared in court to dismiss a voter fraud charge.
Asaf Afzal pleaded not guilty to one count of perverting the course of justice when he appeared for a link in Derby Crown Court.
The 53-year-old, from Littleover, is one of four people charged with police charges following an investigation into allegations of postal vote tampering.
The ex-adviser, who is also chairman of the Pakistan Community Center in Derby, ran for re-election for the Labor Party in the May 2019 municipal elections.
But he was rejected.
The other three defendants, all from Derby, also pleaded not guilty to the same charge.
Judge Shaun Smith QC adjourned the case and set the trial date for June 20, 2022.
It is expected to last six to seven days and he has given each of the quartets a bond.
In a statement, released in February when the charges were cleared by the Crown Prosecution Service, Derbyshire Police said: ‘Four people have been charged with obstructing the course of justice following inquiries into an incident alleged electoral fraud linked to the Derby City Council elections. in May 2019.
“The four, three men and one woman, are accused of:
“Mohan Singh, 77 years old – two counts of perverting the course of justice;
“Baljit Rehalu, 41 – two counts of perversion of the course of justice;
“Mohinder Rehala, 53, – one count of hijacking the course of justice.
“All are from Clarence Road, Derby.
“Asaf Afzal, 53, of Colwyn Avenue, Derby – one count of court perversion.”
The charges relate to an investigation opened in the run-up to the Derby municipal elections in 2019.
At the time, Afzal was the Labor candidate for the Abbey Quarter.
Hoping to keep the seat on the board he held at the time, he won 1,288 votes.
But following the vote, he was ousted by the Liberal Democrat candidate and current councilor Ajit Atwal who won 1,505 votes.
While serving on the board, he held positions including that of cabinet member for neighborhoods and public protection.