Friday, 15 June 2001

Hackney poll-fix councillors jailed

Sandra Laville in the Daily Telegraph.

TWO councillors were jailed yesterday for their part in the country's largest vote-rigging conspiracy, which "betrayed democracy" in one of the most deprived areas of Britain.

Isaac Liebowitz, a Conservative, and Zev Lieberman, a Liberal Democrat, raised enough bogus votes to change the course of the 1998 municipal elections in Hackney, east London, by robbing Labour of a stronghold ward. The men created non-existent voters, registered electors at addresses that did not exist and tricked elderly women into signing away their vote.

Special Branch officers, who spent 18 months investigating the matter, described it as "the largest attempt to subvert the democratic process" that they had come across. Judge Jeremy Connor sentenced Liebowitz, 35, to six months in jail and Lieberman, 29, to four months at Wood Green Crown Court, north London, yesterday.

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