The trial, expected to last around 10 weeks, of six people over allegations of postal vote fraud intended to help the 2005 Conservative general election campaign in Bradford West started yesterday.
Haroon Rashid, the general election candidate, and five others are on trial. A seventh person, the former deputy chairman for finance in the local Conservative association Alyas Khan, has pleaded guilty.
As The Times reports:
Tory activists in a marginal seat hatched a postal ballot fraud in an attempt to rig the voting system at the last general election, a court was told yesterday.
Their “well-organised attempt to subvert the democratic process” involved applications for more than 1,600 postal votes at more than 100 properties – some of them empty and derelict – across Bradford. Many of the would-be voters did not exist, others had no idea that their names were being used and some had their ballot papers redirected to addresses controlled by the conspirators.