A father and daughter testified at the 2nd Ward election fraud trial on Thursday morning. Both witnesses called to the witness stand by former councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman’s side testified to having cast mail-in ballots in last year’s municipal elections.
Pierre Mervil said he voted from 122 Rossiter Avenue. He told Akhtaruzzaman’s attorney Susan Champion he was assisted by Zakaria Ahmed.
“They came over to my house and talked to me,” said Mervil. When asked if he knew Ahmed, he said he did not. His daughter provided a similar testimony.
Ketty Mervil said she voted in the 2nd Ward election. She at first thought Champion was asking her about the most recent presidential election. She said she voted in person at the November election.
“Oh, I voted by mail,” she answered when asked about last year’s 2nd Ward election. She said she completed her mail-in ballot, sealed it, and gave it to her father. Asked about her assistor, she said she did not know Ahmed.
“That was a guy who filled it out,” she said. She said the assistor filled out the top of the ballot. “The only thing I know is I signed it,” she said. A third Mervil was expected to testify at the trial, but the court did not have a readily available Creole interpreter.
Champion, seeing that the two Mervils testified to having voted in the election, agreed to speak to Lucia Mervil in the hall to determine whether to put her on the witness stand. Lucia Mervil did not take the stand at the court room.
More than 60 witnesses have testified in the trial which has been running since September. The trial is expected to resume on Monday.