‘State’s evidence doesn’t disprove Oscar’s version’

2013-02-23 00:00

THE state’s own testimony and its forensic evidence corroborate Oscar Pistorius’s version of what happened on that fateful Valentine’s Day eve.

That is important, because the state does not have eyewitnesses, but is relying on forensics.

That was the argument of Pistorius’s advocate, Barry Roux SC.

Furthermore, the defence had submitted statements from friends of Pistorius, as well as Reeva Steenkamp, that all said one thing: that the two were in a loving relationship.

“And that contradicts any motive the accused would have had to kill her,” Roux said.

“The evidence doesn’t even prove that he committed a murder.

“But the state has access to the testimony and evidence and ought to know that it falls far short of the requirements for a schedule 6 crime,” Roux said.

He said investigating officer Hilton Botha was selective in his testimony with the clear intention of strengthening the state’s case.

“The poor quality of the testimony merely revealed the disastrous shortcomings of the state’s case,” the advocate said.

The postmortem showed Steenkamp’s bladder was empty. That indicated someone who got up to go to the toilet.

“There is no evidence the accused knew she was in the toilet.

“The noises, the open bathroom window and the closed toilet door strengthened his suspicion of an intruder.

“He was vulnerable without his prosthetic legs and wanted to protect himself and his girlfriend,” Roux argued.

He added: “Unfortunately, it is not South Africa’s best-kept secret: crime is not limited to unsecured areas,” Roux said.

He said it wasn’t strange that a woman would “carefully” lock the toilet door if she heard her boyfriend shout that there was an intruder in the house.

He said the fact that Pistorius had phoned for help and carried Steenkamp downstairs showed how “desperate” he was to save her life.

That also chimed with the fact that he told someone shortly afterwards that he thought he was shooting at an intruder.

Roux referred to the statement of a witness who claimed to have heard an hour-long argument. The investigating officer first said the witness was 600 metres away, then amended it to 300 metres and then didn’t know how far away the person was.

“The witness could not say that the argument came from the accused’s house.”

There was also someone who said he or she had first heard “two or three” shots, and later another “two or three” shots. This while the forensic evidence proved there were only four shots.

“This was again vague testimony set out as facts,” Roux said.

He said it was not logical to think that a well-known person like Pistorius, an international icon, would flee, especially as, in his own version, he had waited at the scene for the police.

“The investigating officer said at the scene he would not oppose bail. Now he does.”

Pistorius, who looked even more tired yesterday, kept his eyes fixed on Roux during his argument, only occasionally dropping his head and rubbing his hand tiredly over his face.

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