A Sikh leader in New Zealand was on Thursday found guilty of forging election documents in a bid to win in a local body poll three years ago.
Daljit Singh, a former Labour Party candidate, who was running for the Otara-Papatoetoe local board in the Auckland council in 2010, was found guilty in the high court in Auckland of two charges of dealing with forged documents, the media reported.
He, however, was acquitted of the remaining 18 electoral fraud charges of the total 20 he faced.
The 11-member jury delivered the verdict on Thursday afternoon after deliberating for nearly five days.
Six other men involved in the scandal Gurinder Atwal, Davinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Virender Singh, Paramjit Singh and Malkeet Singh were also found guilty, but on fewer counts. Another accused, Davinder Singh, was found not guilty. Justice Mark Woolford freed all the accused on bail until sentencing in February 2014.
The court heard that Daljit falsely changed a large number of people's addresses on the Electoral Enrolment Centre's website so that they came within the boundary of his Otara-Papatoetoe local board. Most of the people's addresses Daljit changed were Sikhs with the surname of Singh.
The court heard that the enrolment centre contacted the police when it noticed that a large number of people downloaded forms from computers that had the same IP addresses.
"The vast majority of those whose addresses were changed were unaware that it was happening," the Fairfax media quoted prosecutor Robin McCoubrey as telling the court. Daljit is a real-estate agent and a senior member of the Supreme Sikh Council in New Zealand.