An interdicted 27-year-old policeman had manslaughter committal against him quashed by High Court Judge Navindra Singh on Tuesday. The judge ruled that the committal was wrong in law following submissions on the matter.
Police Constable Robert Daniels had been charged with the murder of Estevao Marques Costa, a Brazilian miner, on August 11, 2018, at Puruni Backdam, Region Seven. The charge was later reduced to manslaughter by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
Daniels challenged his committal, arguing that sections 12, 13, and 14 of the Police Complaints Authority Act were not followed during the investigation. These sections provide for the supervision of investigations into allegations of death caused by police officers.
Justice Singh upheld Daniels’ lawyers’ submissions and quashed the committal by the presiding Magistrate. He also ruled that the DPP’s indictment was void and emphasized the need for authorities to comply with the law.
According to reports, on the night of the incident, Daniels and a subordinate officer abandoned their post and left in an all-terrain vehicle. Upon arriving at Puruni landing, Daniels reportedly went to a shop while the subordinate officer remained at the landing. The subordinate officer later heard a loud explosion and rushed to the scene, where he was allegedly told that Costa had shot at Daniels and that Daniels had returned fire, mortally wounding Costa. Tiana cole reports.