Oscar trial adjourns for 2 weeks

2014-04-17 19:53
(Themba Hadebe, AP)

(Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Pretoria - The trial of murder accused Oscar Pistorius was adjourned before 13:00 in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Proceedings ended after prosecutor Gerrie Nel and defence counsel Advocate Barry Roux concluded their questioning of defence witness Roger Dixon.

The trial will resume on 5 May.

Nel requested the early adjournment saying it would be unfair for the next defence witness to start giving evidence-in-chief and then have to pick up when court resumed in two weeks' time.

Roux told Judge Thokozile Masipa they were prepared to put in more time when proceedings resumed, either starting earlier or adjourning later.

Pistorius is charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door at his home in Pretoria.

He says he mistook her for an intruder and that the shooting was an accident.

He is also charged with contravening the Firearms Control Act.

The State argues that he murdered Steenkamp after an argument.

On Thursday, Nel heavily criticised the evidence of Dixon, a qualified geologist.

At one point, Dixon came in for a grilling when he told the court he did not have his documents that contained his findings on the varnish found on the prosthetic leg Pistorius had worn when he tried to kick open the door after the shooting.

"Why didn't you bring it?" Nel asked Dixon.

"I did not think to bring it," responded Dixon.

He offered to fetch the documents from his home.

Dixon’s integrity questioned

Since cross-examination began, Nel has questioned Dixon's expertise, at times pointing out that he was testifying on aspects not related to his field.

At one point Dixon delivered evidence which Nel said contradicted the evidence of Pistorius.

Dixon also testified that the man he had used to conduct a height and visibility test at Pistorius's home was not the same height as Pistorius.

A neighbour had testified he saw Pistorius, who claimed to have been on his stumps, move around in the bathroom after he shot Steenkamp.

Conducting the test to see if Pistorius without his prosthetics could be seen from the neighbour's house, Dixon said that when on his knees, the man he used in the experiment was about 20cm shorter than Pistorius if he were on his stumps.

This was not highlighted in Dixon's initial evidence.

Dixon was also not in the same position as the neighbour who had claimed to have seen Pistorius, Nel said.

He said that for an expert, Dixon had neglected to take note and report on crucial evidence.

- SAPA
Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  roger dixon  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  thokozile masipa  |  crime  |  pistorius trial
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