Defence asks that experts testify before murder accused Henri Van Breda

2017-09-19 11:24
Henri van Breda in the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen,News24)

Henri van Breda in the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen,News24)

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Cape Town – Arguments will be heard in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday on whether Henri van Breda will testify before or after experts testifying in his defence when his lawyers make their case in three weeks' time.

An application has been made by the triple murder accused's legal team that when the matter resumes early next month, their three experts testify first before Van Breda takes to the stand.

Prosecutor Susan Galloway argued that allowing his witnesses to testify first could give Van Breda an opportunity to amend his version.

Defence lawyer Advocate Pieter Botha rubbished this, saying his client had already given the court his account of what happened in his detailed plea explanation.

Botha pointed out that their experts needed to be booked and flown in for the trial.

Van Breda's experts include Reggie Perumal, a private forensic pathologist, who was part of convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius' defence team but did not testify in his trial.

Ballistics expert Cobus Steyl, a former police officer who, according to his website, primarily analyses firearms and tool marks, also attended trial proceedings and assisted Botha during cross-examinations of State witnesses.

A yet to be named neurosurgeon would also be called by the defence to testify, Botha confirmed on Monday.

First defence witness to be called on October 9

Galloway, after the conclusion of the State's case, told Judge Siraj Desai that Van Breda's sister Marli, the only other survivor of the axe attacks, has asked that she not be made available to the defence.

She suffered retrograde amnesia and does not remember any of the events of January 27, 2015.

She was included on the State's witness list, but was not called as she had not regained her memory.

READ: Marli van Breda won't testify in brother's trial

Van Breda, 22, pleaded not guilty to axing his parents and brother Rudi to death, seriously injuring Marli and defeating the ends of justice.

He alleged that an intruder wearing a balaclava, gloves and dark clothes was behind the attack, and that he had heard people speaking in Afrikaans in their home.

Van Breda claimed that, after a fight with the axe-wielding intruder who was also armed with a knife, the man had escaped.

The defence is expected to call its first witness on October 9.

Read more on:    henri van breda  |  cape town  |  courts  |  crime

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