Miner accused of killing employee acquitted

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Rajesh Roopnarine called ‘Popo’

A 50-year-old former mining operator was, on Thursday, acquitted of a murder at the conclusion of the trial in the Demerara High Court.

Rajesh Roopnarine called ‘Popo’ was accused of killing one of his employees back in 2014. Justice Navindra Singh freed him due to a lack of sufficient evidence stemming from poor police investigation.

Roopnarine, formerly of Timehri, East Bank Demerara, was accused of killing David Campbell on December 6, 2014 at Mabura, Upper-Demerara River. Roopnarine was represented by Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes while the State was represented by Teriq Mohammed, Abigail Gibbs and Tuanna Hardy.

The High Court trial commenced on Thursday morning before a 12-member jury and concluded three hours later following the testimonies of several witnesses.
After the prosecution closed their case, Justice Singh noted that there was insufficient evidence for the jury to deliberate on, since the police failed to carry out a proper investigation into the matter. Justice Singh directed the jury to return a not-guilty verdict and told Roopnarine to “steer clear from similar situations.”

According to reports, Campbell was a chainsaw operator and worked at the mining camp Roopnarine operated. On November 30, 2014, Campbell was set on fire while in his hammock, after consuming alcohol with his colleagues and Roopnarine. Campbell sustained third-degree burns about his body and was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, but died on December 6, 2014.