Pistorius trial: What’s coming up

2014-03-10 08:00

After a week of explosive testimony, the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius will begin today with more security guards from his Silver Woods Country Estate facing the formidable cross- examination of ­defence Advocate Barry Roux.

Depending, of course, on how long Roux takes to cross-examine the guards, ­forensic scientists are expected to take the stand by the middle of the week, sources close to the prosecution say.

The defence is building a case around two key arguments.

The first is that the woman screaming in terror in the early hours of that Valentine’s Day morning was in fact not Reeva Steenkamp but a panic-stricken Pistorius calling for help after he realised he’d mistaken his ­girlfriend for an intruder.

They intend to prove Pistorius screams like a woman.

The second key argument is that the sound of gunshots neighbours heard was in fact the sound of Pistorius breaking down the toilet door with a cricket bat after he had realised his terrible mistake.

But soon it will be the turn of scientists, who the prosecution is hoping will ­disprove Pistorius’ account of what happened.

Forensic pathologist Professor Gert Saayman, who conducted the postmortem on Steenkamp’s body, will be one of the first experts to take the stand.

If all goes according to plan, the court will hear evidence from experts in ballistics and blood-spatter analysis, as well as others – including the specialist who conducted tests on the cricket bat.

The prosecution is convinced these experts will firmly entrench a timeline of events that will discredit the defence.

Sources close to the prosecution say they believe there can only be one possible sequence of events that makes sense – that Steenkamp screamed as Pistorius shot her through a locked toilet door.

They are confident their specialist witnesses will help them prove this.

Weather and sound experts will also be called in to testify about the weather conditions at the time of the shooting as well as about how sound travels.

The defence will also be calling it’s own forensic experts. Forensic scientist Dr David Klatzow said: “I think we’re going to watch the spectacle of duelling experts ­unfold. And I don’t think that is always a healthy thing.”

CSI: Oscar Pistorius

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