UK: Former mayor charged with vote rigging

30 August 2007

A SERVING city councillor and a former Peterborough mayor have been charged with vote rigging.
Cllr Abdul Razaq, of Alexandra Road, Millfield, and former mayor Raja Akhtar, who lost his Central Ward seat in the May elections this year, have both been charged with forgery.

A third man, Mohammed Khaliq (49), of Foxdale, New England, was also charged at Bridge Street Police Station yesterday.

Akhtar (51), of Newark Avenue, Millfield, is the second former city mayor to be charged in connection with Operation Hooper – a probe into alleged vote rigging in the 2004 election.

Mohammed Choudhary, who has already been charged, was due to appear at Peterborough Crown Court today.

Choudhary, who was mayor from May 1996 to 1997, has denied charges including defrauding election officers by submitting false postal ballots and making a false instrument, namely a poll card in connection with alleged vote rigging during the city council's 2004 elections.

CHARGED: Former Mayor of Peterborough Raja Akhtar and, inset, Mohammed Choudhary, who are both now facing charges relating to alleged vote rigging.