Forensic expert grilled on Oscar report

2014-03-12 13:31
(Alexander Joe, AFP)

(Alexander Joe, AFP)

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Pretoria - A police forensic analyst was grilled on Wednesday on why he excluded some of his conclusions from a report on the fatal shooting of Reeva Steenkamp.

Colonel Johannes Vermeulen told the North Gauteng High Court he did not think this was an issue. His case file was also already closed.

Vermeulen was testifying about a cricket bat in the murder trial of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who is a double amputee.

Pistorius has said he used the bat to break down a locked toilet door through which he shot Steenkamp last year.

Advocate Barry Roux, for Pistorius, asked Vermeulen why he had not said in his report the marks on the door indicated Pistorius was on his stumps when he bashed at the door.

Vermeulen said he did not think this was an issue.

Stumps

Pistorius said in his bail application he was on his stumps when he fired four shots through the door. He said he put his prosthetic legs before he bashed at the door with the cricket bat.

Vermeulen said he was only asked to determine if the marks on the door related to the cricket bat.

"I was not asked to determine whether Mr Pistorius was wearing his prosthetics or not and that is why it is not in my evidence-in-chief."

He said he had mentioned it as an aside to prosecutor Gerrie Nel at a meeting in November "not knowing that it was an issue".

"And then Mr Nel pointed out to me that there is discrepancy with his statement."

Roux grilled Vermeulen on why he had not filed a report and he said: "By that time my case file was already closed."

But he had discussed it with Nel who had as far as he knew passed it on to the defence and he felt to make another report was "not necessary".

He said it had already been confirmed by officer Mangena on 30 April 2012 that Pistorius was not on his prosthetic legs so he thought it was "never an issue".

Correction

Earlier, prosecutor Gerrie Nel rose to correct a statement by Oscar Pistorius's lawyer.

"The State's case is that he was on his prostheses," Roux, for Pistorius, said while questioning Vermeulen.

Nel promptly rose from his seat.

"It's not my case...That was perhaps something that happened in the bail application," said Nel.

Vermeulen said, during questioning by Roux, expert evidence would indicate that Pistorius was also on his stumps when he shot through the door of his toilet at Steenkamp.

Pistorius is charged with deliberately shooting dead his girlfriend in his Pretoria house on 14 February last year.

He also faces two charges under the Firearms Act.


- SAPA

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  pistorius trial
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