Dispute over Oscar bullets

2014-05-09 16:22

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Pretoria - The High Court in Pretoria heard debate on Friday on the different spots hit by bullets Oscar Pistorius fired last year.

Ballistics expert Thomas "Wollie" Wolmarans, testifying in Pistorius's defence, queried assertions of police ballistics expert Captain Chris Mangena.

Pistorius has been charged with murder after he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead in his Pretoria home on 14 February last year.

He shot through the locked door of his toilet, hitting Steenkamp in the hip, arm, and head. He claims that he mistook her for an intruder.

The bullet holes have been marked A to D on the door of a toilet cubicle model that has been set up in court.

Lasers were used by both ballistics experts to match the bullets and the spots they hit on Steenkamp's body and on the wall.

Wolmarans argued on Friday that Mangena did not take into account a possibility of the bullets deflecting as they penetrated the door.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Mangena had managed to link the hole caused by bullet B to a spot marked E on the wall inside the toilet.

Wolmarans said E came "very close" but not quite. He repeatedly said it would be difficult to ascertain Steenkamp's actual position in the toilet when the shots were fired.

Nel also examined him on the sound tests conducted in preparation for the trial.

Wolmarans said on the first night of the tests at a shooting range, the gun was jamming because the ammunition "was not friendly".

Pistorius is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act - one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public.

He has denied guilt on all charges.

Wolmarans would still be on the stand when the trial resumes on Monday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    oscar pistorius  |  johannesburg  |  pistorius trial
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